A few months back I was sent a photo of a pineapple.
I wasn’t too surprised to see this image come across my messages as it seems to be everywhere at the moment, especially in pop culture. The image of the pineapple is being used on everything from wallpaper to socks. I can’t comment on the success of this tropical fruit as an icon but I can comment on how impactful this message I received that day was.
The photo of the pineapple was followed up by these words:
“Ever wonder about the legend behind why the pineapple became a symbol of hospitality?” At this point I honestly had no idea that the pineapple represented anything outside of a delicious sweet fruit from warmer climates.
I continued to read.
“The Sea Captains of New England traded among the Caribbean Islands, returning to the colonies bearing their heavy cargoes of spices, rum, and a selection of fruits, which sometimes included pineapples. According to the legend, the Captain would drop anchor in the harbour and see to his cargo and crew. Once his work was done, he would head home, stopping outside his house to spear a pineapple on a fence post. This would 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”
This to me sums up what “hospitality” is and needs to be. Bringing people together to enjoy food, drink and stories. Period.
I was so intrigued by this story about the pineapple and it’s association with hospitality that I did more research and it is amazing what this fruit signified to so many different cultures, but at it’s core (pardon the pun) it was deeply rooted in speaking to abundance and bringing people together to enjoy the bounty provided together.
So while there are pineapple figures all over the place at the moment from earrings to stickers, the next time you see this fruit, or its likeness, stop for a moment to appreciate the significance it had, and likely still has, on many people when it comes to defining hospitality.