Pineapples | The Symbol of Hospitality

As some of you may know (and many of you may not know), the pineapple is the symbol of hospitality. Really! There is a whole story and history behind why the pineapple is considered a symbol of hospitality, and it really is such a fun story!

Here’s how the story goes:

The first recorded encounter with pineapples dates back to 1493, when Christopher Columbus was on his second voyage to explore the Caribbean. While there, some of his crew discovered a myriad of different and unique fruits and vegetables. One in particular with an abrasive exterior similar to a pinecone but the interior texture of an apple. They wanted to share this new fruit with their friends and family back in Europe. When they returned, the pineapple became a huge hit amongst the royal family.

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Throughout the years, European farmers did all they could to create an environment conducive to harvesting pineapples. It took almost two hundred years before gardeners were able to create a perfect hothouse environment that would allow the growth of the tropical fruit. The complexity of growing pineapples is what created the idea that they were a symbol of royal privilege. King Charles II of England even posed for a portrait in which he received a pineapple as a status symbol.

With the availability of pineapples sparse, the tradition says that if you were attending an event, and the host had a pineapple to offer their guests, you knew that they had pulled out all the stops to create a beautiful event. Additionally, if you were offered a meal that included a pineapple-topped dish, it was considered an honor. In this manner, the pineapple became the symbol of hospitality and gracious hosting.

While pineapples are much more accessible these days, I love the idea that they are a symbol of a generous hospitality and selfless hosting. After all this talk of these delicious fruits, I think I may have to go find some to snack on!

Kristin