Pineapples = hopitality

Why is the pineapple a symbol of hospitality?

Is it just another gimmick to get people to buy those gawdawful seasonal flags to hang on their porches or what? I am sensing a conspiracy

WE are all pilgrims on the same journey - but some pilgrims have better road maps.

I don’t know the origin of the pineapple as a symbol of hospitality, but I know its not a new invention. I’ve seen in used as a motif in antebellum houses and the tour guide gave that “pineapple is a symbol of hospitality” line. That would suggest the idea has been around for at least 150 years.

Just a guess – in the olden days pineapples, from the tropics, were few and far between in the more northerly latitudes. Providing a guest with a rare delicacy like pineapple would therefore be a mark of hospitality.

Just a theory.

President of the Vernon Dent fan club.

In Colonial America, pineapples were a sign of welcome due mostly to their scarcity. You were honoring your guest by offering such a delicacy.

They were also used as centerpieces for the homemade Christmas decorations that were used on the front door at that time.
They hold decorating contests in Williamsburg, VA every year, and the pineapple is generally the focal point of the door decoration.

I don’t remember the source, but I heard that pineapples became the symbol for hospitality in cities and towns with sea ports. The legend goes: when the trade ships would come back to port (they usually visited tropical locales) the seamen would usually bring home with them tropical fruits. The wife would stick a pineapple on the fence-post signifying that her sea-faring husband was home and they were welcoming visitors…

I’ve never heard of the pineapple as a symbol of hospitality. Is this a South thing?

I know that the pineapple was a common motif for finials and decorations on fine furniture in France, c 1790s–1820s. I always assumed that it was something rare and expensive, that only the well-to-do could afford (rather like the top-end furniture, or fussy ormolu clocks on which it appears).

Given the close relations of the two nations during this period, did the “motif d’ananas” come to the US from France?

“Quoth the Raven, ‘Nevermore.’”
E A Poe

pineapples…mmmmmmmmmmmm :slight_smile:

“there can be only one” - me

Thanks everyone for good answers. I agree with the hypoteneuse that because of scarcity they were a sought after welcome gift. I suppose todays comparison would be to be giving your guests a Hummer.

!!! I want to come to one of your parties!

Oh. Wait. You meant the jeep thing, didn’t you. Sorry.

President of the Vernon Dent fan club.