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.
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!