Tuna Fans Will Flip For Brazil's Pizza De Atum

For many people, Brazilian food probably conjures images of a pot of feijoada made with inky black beans, chewy puffs of pao de queijo, and icy caipirinhas. But for a lot of Brazilians, pizza is just as commonly eaten as those iconic Brazilian foods. In fact, in the city of São Paulo, considered to be the epicenter of pizza culture in Brazil, as of 2016 there were more than 4,500 pizzerias, and half of the city's 12 million citizens claimed some Italian heritage (via The Guardian). Although pizza was brought to the country by Italian immigrants in the 1920s, these days, Brazil has left its own mark on the dish, and the pizza you find in the country isn't quite what you'd expect to find in America. After all, when was the last time you got a pizza with grated raw tuna on it at Domino's?

You read that right — raw grated tuna. That's one of the toppings on Brazilian pizza de atum, which is made with tomato sauce, raw grated tuna, and onions. The tuna is grated onto the pizza before it goes into the oven, so it's not a hot pizza topped with tuna tartare as it might initially sound. Canned tuna can be used instead of grated raw tuna. It's a far cry from a pepperoni pizza, but this Brazilian tuna pizza is one of the most popular flavors in the country.

Brazilian tuna pizza

There are a few different things that make Brazilian pizza de atum distinct from American pizza. For one, the crust is different. Brazilian pizza tends to have a thin, but not crispy, crust, more similar to Neapolitan pizza crust than New York style. In general, Brazilian pizza also tends to use less sauce than American pizza, and the pizza gets eaten with a knife and fork. That's true of many Brazilian foods, but it makes sense with Brazilian pizza, too, since the droopy crust makes it difficult to eat by hand anyway.

To make the pizza, the dough is stretched thin. It's topped with a simple tomato sauce, grated raw or canned tuna, and onions, then is baked in hot oven to cook. Brazil isn't the only country where tuna is a popular pizza topping — you can find it in Italy, Germany, Spain, Japan, and other countries around the world, too. Folks on Reddit have praised the taste. One user wrote that "it's actually really good...it doesn't seem like it should be, and yet [it is]." Considering that tuna is one of the most popular types of seafood in the U.S., maybe it's time to take a page out of Brazil's book and start adding it to pizza, not relegated to your go-to simple tuna sandwich recipe.