The Pretty Pineapple

I recently visited a doctor to discuss some minor surgery. We set the date and she gave me a packet of instructions in a glossy folder to take home for reference in how to prepare for my upcoming surgery. Starting 2 weeks before surgery were several things. Number one was to take a multivitamin daily. Add to that were supplements of Vitamin A and Vitamin C. The next supplement was Bromelain. It said I could pick this up at a local health food store. I didn’t have a clue what it was. Much to my surprise, I found it was a pineapple enzyme. It helps in reducing swelling. And the instructions said to continue it for four weeks.   I am curious by nature and I researched it. I found lots about the benefits of  Bromelain     Another reason I love The Pretty Pineapple.  

      Pineapples have been in my life as long as I can remember. Our Bed and Breakfast Hotel had a door knocker with two pineapples and the word WELCOME underneath. I learned early the pineapple was a symbol of hospitality in the South. We had a pineapple toothpick holder; pineapple canister set and even towel sets of pineapple print. Southern recipes love the pineapple. You can find it in main dishes, salsas, pizzas, jams, cakes, pies, ice cream, drinks and cocktails. Nothing much better than a sliced grilled pineapple served with chicken or even by itself with a scoop of ice cream. Try these recipes .

Pineapples were first discovered by the Europeans in 1493 on the Caribbean Island now known as Guadeloupe.

When Christopher Columbus brought pineapples back to Europe, attempts were made to cultivate the sweet fruit. They soon realized that the pineapples needed a tropical climate to flourish.

By the end of the 16th century, Portuguese and Spanish explorers introduced pineapples into many of their Asian, African and South Pacific colonies and these countries still grow the pineapples today.

Pineapples were a welcome gift in the tropics.  Years ago, ways of travel were slow and fresh pineapples were a rare luxury.

The fresh pineapple was highly sought after, becoming a true symbol of prestige and social class. In fact, the pineapple, because of its rarity and expense, was such a status item that if a hostess displayed the fruit as part of a decorative centerpiece, she was awarded social awe and recognition. Colonial confectioners rented pineapples to households by the day. The same fruit later in the day was sold to other, more affluent clients who actually ate it.

In the 1600s, King Charles II of England posed for an official portrait and in this portrait he is seen receiving a pineapple as a gift. , It symbolized a gift of royal privilege. The pineapple was used by political cartoonists during the Napoleonic Wars to symbolize extravagance.

During the 20th century, the pineapple primarily symbolized hospitality. American Sea Captains placed the fruit outside their homes to signal to friends that they had returned from sea. It was this act that began the trend of stone pineapples being placed at the entrance of the finer homes.

 Today we see pineapples on just about everything in the South. It is on gates, bedposts, crockery, napkins, tablecloths and door knockers.  

There is even a pineapple fountain at Waterfront Park in Charleston SC

source: SC Chamber of Commerce

  The Pretty Pineapple. It is my favorite fruit.

 

source Pinterest

 

 Decorating with pineapples is easy. The Pretty Pineapple sitting by itself is gorgeous. And when you add a ring of plumeria or hibiscus flowers around the bottom of it, you are ready for a luau… Add a few coconuts or strands of shells near the pineapples and you have a natural look for the party.

I use pineapples in floral design quite a bit. The skin of the pineapple is so visually interesting that is looks beautiful when used as a vase for floral centerpieces. Cut the top off of a pineapple remove the fruit from the inside with a pineapple corer. Add floral foam snugly to the inside of the skin. Wrap floral wire around the stems of flowers, and insert the wire into the foam until you have a beautiful centerpiece. Place a wire into the center of the spiky-stemmed top, and use it as part of the arrangement. Voila, it’s sings sunshine.

And  at Christmas, you will find The Pretty Pineapple gracing the entrances of churches, and the  grand homes and taverns of the South. The symbol that all are welcomed and will receive Southern Hospitality.

source:  pinterest

 Plan a trip to Williamsburg VA and you can spot The Pretty Pineapple in every crook and crannie, even in the stables and their beautiful gardens.  Please share your ideas of how you use the pretty pineapple in your home. The possibilities are endless.

 

 

 

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