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The History of Pineapples in High Society

Have you ever been casually touring a mansion and noticed a pineapple carving at the bottom of the staircase railing? What about on the molding? That’s because pineapples used to be a symbol of wealth.

When Christopher Columbus was introduced to pineapples on the island of Guadeloupe, he was so impressed that he brought some back to Spain with him. The fruit quickly became a sensation. However, pineapples can only grow in a tropical climate, making it impossible for the Spaniards to grow them.

Later on, hothouses in England and the Netherlands were able to successfully grow the fruit, but because the supply didn’t match the high demand, only the wealthy could afford pineapples. As a result, they quickly became a symbol of luxury.

In fact, in 1700s America pineapples were displayed at parties to show off well-standing. Those who couldn’t afford to purchase a pineapple could rent one to carry around so they would appear affluent.

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