History of the Pineapple
The pineapple – tough on the outside, delicious on the inside. We all know how wonderful pineapples taste, but do you know the history behind this fancy fruit?
It has long been understood that Christopher Columbus made the first European connection with the pineapple plant. At that time, fresh fruit was a rare commodity (exotic fruit doubly so), and the pineapple quickly became a fruit celebrity of royal gourmet and horticulturists.
For many years, the pineapple remained a coveted commodity that was cherished for its rarity. To aid in their access to this rare fruit, the Europeans tried to produce their own pineapple plants. Unfortunately, due to the harsh seasons, their efforts were mostly fruitless. Because of the difficulty in cultivating pineapples, the ability to obtain one continued to be viewed as a significant symbol of prosperity and royalty. In fact, it was so uncommon to have possession of a pineapple that King Charles II himself posed for a portrait that truly attests to his royal status: him receiving a pineapple as a gift. A royal gift, indeed.
Pineapples as a Luxury
Across the sea in Colonial America, the pineapple was brought home by sailors returning to New England from far away ports. A fresh pineapple proudly displayed on the porch was a symbol that the home was ready to welcome visitors once again. It is no surprise that this symbol of hospitality is still in use today. Take a look around and you will easily find pineapples in architectural design, on welcome signs, in home décor and as a crowning piece to large displays of food.
Iconic Hawaiian Fruit
Pineapple cultivation first began in Hawaii around the late 19th century, where the pineapple industry began to grow and export throughout the world. However, the pineapple actually originated in South America, and, against popular belief, is not the official state fruit of Hawaii.
Encourage a welcoming atmosphere in any room of your home with pineapple accents. And do not forget to tell your guests all about the history of the pineapple as you enjoy some of the fruit yourselves!