We all recognize the pineapple as the sign of welcome and hospitality, but do we know why that is? Well, here's the story . . . In the late 17th century, pineapples were not only expensive, but they were very fragile. During the sea voyage from the Caribbean to the US colonies, most of the precious fruit rotted from the heat and humidity. So, anyone invited to a party where a whole pineapple was served would know that they were honored guests, and that no expense was spared. Thus, the pineapple came to symbolize friendship, welcome and hospitality throughout the Colonies.
And for you history buffs, legend has it the sea captains of New England sailed among the Caribbean Islands and returned to the colonies bearing their cargo of fruits, spices and rum. As the story goes, the captain would spear a pineapple on a fence post outside his home to let his friends know of his safe return from sea. The pineapple was an invitation for them to visit, share his food and drink, and listen to tales of his voyage.
As the tradition grew, innkeepers added the pineapple to their signs and advertisements, and furniture with hand-carved pineapples was a common sight at inns throughout the Colonies and New England.
This tradition has continued to this day, and it's common to see the pineapple symbol in hotels and restaurants to express warmth, welcome and hospitality.
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