Saturday, August 18, 2012

Pineapple Ponderings, indeed.

"Why pineapples?"

That's what my buddy, Matt, asked me today at lunch when I mentioned how "pineapples are my thing." 

For as long as I can remember, I've known that pineapples are a symbol of welcome. I started decorating with pineapple "stuff" when we moved into our first apartment - pineapple candles, pineapple artwork, pineapple plates, and pineapple lamps. Not all at the same time, mind you; but I've amassed quite the collection in the last 15 years or so. 

Several years ago, when I was a member of Toastmasters, one of my first speeches was on the symbolism of the pineapple. It seems that pineapples as a symbol of welcome began with the Carib. As the Spaniards began arriving in the Caribbean, they came to realize that they were welcome if a pineapple was placed at the entrance to a village. The Spaniards took this symbolism back to Europe where it spread throughout that continent and was taken to the colonies in North America. If you've ever been to Colonial Williamsburg, you know the pineapple is well-represented in the decor there.

In addition to all of the home decor I've collected over the years, I also have several pieces of pineapple jewelry - a gold pendant, earrings, a silver pineapple bracelet, and a Pandora pineapple charm. I even have a shirt with a pineapple on it, as well as a pair of sandals with pineapples! 

After explaining some of this to Matt, he wondered if there were different varieties of pineapples like there are other fruits like apples (e.g. Gala, Empire, Pink Lady, etc.) and oranges (e.g. Valencia, Navel, and Blood). I said I didn't think so, but that I couldn't be sure. Matt correctly guessed that not knowing would bug me enough that I'd wind up researching it tonight...ha-ha-ha!

To my surprise, there are many cultivars of pineapples. The most commonly grown variety worldwide is the Smooth Cayenne. In addition to the Smooth Cayenne, other varieties include: Hilo, Kona Sugarloaf, Natal Queen, Pernambuco, and Red Spanish. So Matt, you were right! 

A sampling of the varieties of pineapples grown in St. Croix in 2011.
So there you have it. Tonight's pondering was literally about pineapples! 

Do you have a thing? If so, tell me about it in the comments section; I'd love to know!


  1. Evening Beth,
    Years ago when working for Lord Baltimore Press, now International Paper Co. in Baltimore we produced a series of Fragrance cartons for Avon.(late 1960's) On the front panel of each was a small gold leaf stamped "Pinapple"
    Also have a can of pinapple chunks in the pantry.
    Have a nice evening,

  2. I'd like permission to use your pineapple varieties photo for a newsletter for our Bonita Springs Tropical Fruit Club, a non-profit group. Also to include it in a slide show presentation about tropical fruits.

    Thank you!