The Pineapple and the South

February 1, 2022 About the Photo, 1 minute read

I have noticed

an influx of southern things in the Pacific Northwest for the past few years. Food and drink, colloquialisms, and the latest that I've seen a lot of, the pineapple in the use of home decor.

In America, the pineapple as a symbol of hospitality is a southern tradition that began in the 16th century. The stories of why are varied, but they seem to have a common thread of wealth and hospitality. (And safety, but that's for another day.)

In the 16th century, the pineapple was hard to get, easy to spoil, and delicious. As such, it became a symbol of luxury and wealth.

Southern colonists began bringing the pineapple into American homes from abroad for a grand show of opulence. The outrageous price of the fruit caused many a hostess to rent one for the day to use as part of her table decoration rather than buy one. One had to keep up appearances! Since the fruit graced many a dinner table, it came to be associated with hospitality as well as wealth.

The invention of the canner made getting pineapples far more accessible and cheaper, which allowed more people to buy. The idea of hospitality grew popular among non-wealthy homes since they could now bring the humbled fruit into their homes.

 And that's that.

To see a pineapple on one's gatepost, door, yard art, or inside decor is a sign of openness and hospitality. On the other hand, if you are a houseguest and find a pineapple at the foot of your bed, it's time to go. That amuses me.

I have pineapples here and there throughout my house, most having to do with candles. They make me think of open doors with friends and family. Feeling or extending hospitality is a quiet and gentle thing. We could do with more.🍍