The first pineapple I consciously encountered as a sign of hospitality was in Bali. My husband and I stayed in a lovely resort for our honeymoon, and there, gracing the entrance was a pineapple plinth crowned with an orchid planter. Until this point, pineapples were just a delicious fruit and a representation of QLD for me.
Pineapples are bromeliads – yes, those wacky plants that people are desperately trying to keep alive in windows. They are not, as many believe, trees with fruit hanging down from them; they are more like a shrub projecting the fruit up at you. Pineapples are a south American fruit which made its way across the planet during the European expansion.
They were returned to European courts when the explorers, such as Columbus, came back to report on their adventures. As such, the pineapple became something of symbol. Only those with marvellous connection and wealth could have a pineapple on their table. Obviously, if you could afford a pineapple, you would want it on full display when your guests arrived – so that they could see how clever and rich you must be. The pineapple, thus, should be placed in the entrace or in the centre of the main table – it should be there to welcome in the guests.
As we have become more conscientious about the subliminal messages we put out into the world, the pineapple has risen to hold a special place in home decor. By itself, even without the historical meaning behind it, the pineapple is a curiousity. It naturally has a geometrically patterned base with a glorious crown on top. What better symbol of importance could there be?
It reminds us of summer and tropical escapes – perhaps a childhood excursion to the Big Pineapple in QLD. It is fun and flamboyant, and thanks to a rise in popularity over the past ten years, available in an ever-expanding range of decor items to decorate the home and bid your guests welcome. This is not to say the humble pineapple is new to decor – it has been edging its way in for decades. My grandparents had a pineapple ice bucket (plastic and fully insulated), a representative of a mid-century desire to host gatherings and cocktails. We know, that such a desire has been returning and is a feature of the Millenial mindset.
Below are just some of the pineapples I was able to find available to bring a sense of welcome to one’s home.
So, if you are looking for that piece to not only bid welcome to your guests and make your home inviting, I recommend a pineapple. It’s nice to know the history and meaning behind it – true, but I also like them because they have character and are a touch regal. So the question is not why pineapples – it would be more appropriate to ask, why not pineapples?