Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Pineapple


Did you know that even though we usually associate the pineapple with Hawaii, it is not native to the islands, but transplanted there from Jamaica by the British in 1886, a full 200 years after the fruit had been cultivated and consumed in Europe? The pineapple is native to South America and was most likely imported to the Caribbean by native tribes, who brought the sweet fruit with them and transplanted it on several islands. Spanish explorers record finding the fruit and marveling at its sweetness in the 16th century.

However, I am not going to discuss the fruit today, but rather the pineapple and its influence in decorating. One of my favorite things to do with a pineapple is use it as a centerpiece.

Usually a Christmas one like this lovely one from Susan:

The pineapple, apples and magnolias leaves are just perfect. I also love her idea of making candlesticks out of pineapples. Here is another shot with the table all dressed. Susan does have the perfect eye, doesn't she?

And I like this idea as well. It is fresh and cheerful for summer, but could be used any time.
When I think of pineapples, I think of Colonial WilliamsburgIn Williamsburg, you will often see lovely Christmas wreathes made of pineapple, like this one:


You see the pineapple is a sign of hospitality.


The legend began with the sea captains of New England, who sailed among the Caribbean Islands and returned to the colonies bearing their cargo of fruits, spices and rum. According to the legend, the captain would spear a pineapple on a fence post outside his home to let his friends know of his safe return from sea. The pineapple was an invitation for them to visit, share his food and drink, and listen to tales of his voyage.

As the tradition grew, colonial innkeepers added the pineapple to their signs and advertisements, and bedposts carved in the shape of a pineapple were a common sight at inns across New England.
The legend has continued to the present, and frequently one sees the pineapple symbol in hotels and restaurants to signal the presence of hospitality.

Some people call this a myth, but I rather like the idea of the legend.

Other places you see the pineapple in home decor:


Accent tables:

Tommy Bahama

And my favorite, the Dunmore Pineapple House. (You know I couldn't have a blog post without a historic house!)

The building was originally built as a folly for the Earl of Dunmore's wife in 1761-1777. Another legend says that Lord Dunmore was brought back, forcibly, from serving as Governor of Virginia. There, sailors would put a pineapple on the gatepost to announce their return home. Lord Dunmore, who was fond of a joke, announced his return more prominently.

Thanks for stopping by, see you soon. As always comments are welcome.

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