The Hospitable Pineapple
Did you know?
Often regarded as a symbol of hospitality in the South, the pineapple once represented unattainable wealth. The tart and juicy fruit now symbolizes celebration and hospitality.
A long time ago back in the 15th century after Europeans had their first taste of pineapple, everyone suddenly became crazy for the shape and taste of the fruit. The demand was so high that people were willing to spend a fortune just for a taste. Royal families and businessmen around Europe spent countless resources to bring the fruit back from the Amazon rainforests – a challenge that was made increasingly difficult due to the poor transportation and refrigeration techniques of the time. Having a pineapple displayed as a centerpiece at the dining tables symbolised wealth and also ultimate respect when welcoming esteemed guests. Interestingly enough, people who were not wealthy enough to purchase the fruit were happy to rent a pineapple for a night to display on their dining table when hosting important guests.
Pineapples were also used as a kind of invitation. In the past when sea captains returned from a lengthy voyage, they would place a pineapple outside their home to signify their anticipated return. Their friends and family members would know that the sea captain was back safely and would be invited to visit him for a celebration of good food and priceless memories.
Although pineapples are no longer an elusive luxury, the symbolic meaning still remains. From time to time, you will see some of our industry people with a tattoo of a pineapple forever imprinted somewhere on their bodies. This is a lovely reminder to keep the hospitality spirit alive and to be welcoming to guests at all times.