In Insight, Trend

From the first recorded tasting of a pineapple in the 1400s, the spiky, yellow fruit has been considered a symbol of status. After Christopher Columbus made his second trip to America, he brought back pineapples on his ship, allowing Spanish royalty to try them. Peter Martyr, tutor for the Spanish princes, described the fruit in his writing: “It is like a pine­nut in form and color, covered with scales, and firmer than a melon. Its flavor excels all other fruits.” Since then, the pineapple has been a symbol of status and wealth. Read below for a brief timeline of the pineapple, according to The Week:

  • 1496: Columbus returns from America. The first known written account of the pineapple was recorded.
  • The 1600s: The 16th century saw an increase in book production throughout Europe. Scholars and sailors alike would chronicle their experience on their travels. Knowledge of the pineapple became more widespread.
  • 1660: In England, Charles II took the throne, and a new era of splendor was welcomed. Charles II noticed an opportunity in the pineapple, which he names “king-pine.”
  • 1668: When the French ambassador traveled to England, Charles II ordered a pineapple from Barbados. For him, it showcased England’s riches. He then commissioned a painting of himself with a pineapple.
  • The mid-1700s: The pineapple was a “symbolic mani­festation of the divine right of kings.” The phrase “A pineapple of the finest flavor” was used to describe something that was exceedingly incredible.
  • The 1800s: During the trade expansion, home-goods companies used the pineapple as a symbol, producing china and tableware with pineapple themes.
  • Present Day: The pineapple motif has made a comeback in the past few years. Trendy stores such as Urban Outfitters have come out with bags, shot glasses, and stationery sporting the fruit. To many, a pineapple symbolizes endless summer, tropical, faraway lands, and vacation.

For the full story, head over to The Week.

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