If you weren’t brought up in Korea, you’ll have to get over some psychological dissonance when you order pizza. Embrace the sweet potato, please.
You can have chopped up sweet potato on top of the pizza or you can see it in a ringed puree right before the edges. Either way, you’re going to get some sweet potato action more often than not. Americans seem to be disgusted by sweet potato on pizza. And the corn. We won’t get into the corn here. But these are three reasons why my first bite of sweet potato started a lifelong love and made me wonder, “Why didn’t anyone think of this before?”
1. It’s sweet and savory… but in the right balance
Sweet potato is a magical tuber. It is sweet but also savory. And in a pizza that’s heavy on the grease and salty side, a bit of sweet potato enhances the fats and salt while also providing some buffer for your taste buds. How can a topping create blandness and flavor stimulation at the same time? That’s probably why sweet potato is a favorite on pizza menus here.
2. It extends the ‘chew experience’
Pizza is expensive in Korea. Expect to spend about $30 a pie. You’re not going to pig out on as many slices as you would in America. So pizzas here tend to come loaded with toppings so that your belly gets full on fewer slices. Nothing does the trick quite as well as some sweet potato. It’s hefty and yet soft so it mashes well with the cheeses, sauce and carbs to create a filling meal.
there’s nothing like the mouthfeel of a sweet potato pizza
3. It invites kimchi to a pizza party
Of course over time you’ll get used to having sweet dill pickles with your pizza. It’s usually included at no charge with your pizza delivery. But you know you’re a real O.G. when you insist on having kimchi with your pizza too. A pepperoni pizza or a combination pizza is too salty to add kimchi to the fray. But the sweet potato makes room in your mouth for another dazzling combination to occur. Pizza and kimchi. It will keep your taste buds seesawing one side to the other. Pizza will never be boring again!
So where does The Seoulite go for his favorite sweet potato pizza? Well, doesn’t he love to be a contrarian and budget friendly. It’s none other than Pizza School! It’s the neighborhood pizza chain that does pizzas that are cheap and super clean tasting. Each pizza is about 1.5x a personal size. So it’s smaller than the big chains but much bigger than a personal pan pizza. Two people can eat one pizza if they’re not that hungry. And one person can totally pig out. I like to add the cheese crust (mozzarella cheese pull!), sprinkle on their hot sauce and dip it in their garlic cheese sauce.