Pineapples and Southern Hospitality


Pineapples Mean Welcome Friends

Come on in and let’s visit is what the pineapples found at the front door means here in the South. I have always had an affinity for  pineapples. I love to eat them, decorate with them and at times I even to wear them.

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I didn’t realize how much of a pineapple lover that I am until a few days ago. I had stepped outside to have a few photo shots taken before leaving for the day. Later I down loaded the photos to my computer. Much to my surprise I am standing with a pineapple on the middle of my top. There is also pineapple pillows on the rockers and the pineapple porch light. As I looked around I saw many more pineapples all around. So what’s with the Pineapple?


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The more I worked with the photos, the more I became aware of the pineapples surrounding me. My interest was aroused as to how  Pineapples became so popular here in the South.


Time to Google.

  • Christopher Columbus not only discovered America, he also discovered the precious pineapple. When he and his men landed on the island of Guadalupe they were served their first taste of the sweet fruit by the natives.  It was not only delicious but nutritious. An excellent food source aboard ship for the sailors who were often plagued with scurvy on the long sea voyages. He brought it back to Europe when he returned in 1493.

  • In the 1400’s there was no natural sugar cane in Europe and sweets were an expensive treat. The pineapple was exotic, sweet and expensive. A true treasure.

  • It took nearly 200 years for the pineapple to be cultivated in the green houses in Europe. The pineapple shaped like a pinecone and firm like an apple was a hot commodity in the 1600’s.

  • The precious pineapples were so expensive it was considered a food of kings.

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  •  The Pineapple symbolizes hospitality and is found in many hotels through out the world. It is a major decorating symbol. You will find it the articuture of buildings, fountains, gates and doors. Today the pineapple motif is one of the most popular decorating symbols around. The fountain in this picture is in the main lobby at the Hammock Beach Resort in Palm Coast, Florida.



This small crystal pineapple was a souvenir gift from the Westin Hotel in Kauai many years ago. Hawaiian souvenir? I have seen the huge pineapple fields of Hawaii. So how did the pineapple come to be all over the South? 



Many different displays of pineapples can be seen in the foyers and entryway of homes especially in the South and along the eastern seaboard.


Some Interesting Stories

  • In the early days of America long before the internet, visiting was the primary form of entertainment. The concept of hospitality was born. Bringing guests into the home was the mainstay of entertainment. The ladies of the house would get creative with their food displays. It was a way of showing the family’s means. Very competitive indeed. The dining rooms were closed off during the early part of the evening. The table would be set with fantasy-like scenes. Pedestaled and tiered foods. Floral arrangements and fine china on a long serving table. Perched at the very top of this mountain of culinary delights would be the pineapple. There would be the moment of unveiling. The doors would open and the evening began.  Many times if the hostess was pinching her pennies she would rent the pineapple and return after the festivities were over.

  • In colonial times the captains of the trading ships upon returning from their travels would place fresh pineapples outside on their doors, porches or fence gates. This was a sign to his friends and neighbors  that he had returned home safely. They were welcome to come and visit and spend time at his home. The sign of welcome and hospitality.

Boring or interesting?  What do you think? I know I will continue to enjoy collecting pineapples and welcoming friends.


Fashion note for you gals: My pineapple top was a gift from my daughter-in-law. She knows me well. It’s Tommy Bahama. The other pieces have been in previous posts. Shorts and vest – Chico’s. Purse – Vince Camuto from Dillards.

Thanks for stopping by Distinctly Southern Style. you can also follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram or leave me a comment in the section below. I love hearing from you.

Remember to have fun loving and living life to it’s fullest!


ps: As always all creative and opinions are my own.


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  1. Rosemary..I found this all very interesting. I have a wall ornament on my front porch that is a pineapple made of a cement that people have commented on. I knew it meant it was a sign of welcoming but did not know any of this history of the pineapple. Thank you for the information. I love reading all of your posts.

  2. Claire, now you’ll start seeing pineapples everywhere too. (ha,ha) So happy you enjoyed the post. Image renting pineapples. We’ve certainly come a long way!

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