Saturday, October 15, 2011
31 Days of Hospitality: Day 15-The Symbol of Hospitality...
I guess we all know that the pineapple is the symbol of hospitality. But have you ever wondered how that came to be? This is what I've found out:
In 1493 Columbus brought a pineapple back to Renaissance Europe from the Caribbean Island of Guadalupe. At this time Europe was largely devoid of sweet foods, including fresh fruit. The pineapple became popular over the years. In the 1600's, King Charles posed for an official portrait receiving a pineapple as a gift.
In Colonial America hostesses would set out a pineapple on their dining tables when they had visitors. The pineapple would become dessert at the end of an evening. Often colonial grocers would rent pineapples to hostesses desperate to make an impression on their guests and appear to be of a higher financial status than they were. After the pineapple was returned to the grocer it would be sold to a more affluent customer who could afford to buy and eat the pineapple. Regardless of social and economic status, visitors to homes that displayed a pineapple felt honored that the hostess spared no expense on their behalf.
These days the pineapple is still considered the symbol of hospitality. We see this in carved decor, furniture and stationery as well as on the tables of our hostesses.
If you have missed any of my posts during the 31 days series you can find them here. Check out the other 31 Days posts at the Nesting Place.