Symbol for Hospitality
the colonial days in in America, a hostess's ability
to have a pineapple for an important dining event
said as much about her rank as it did about her
resourcefulness. So sought after were the prickly
fruits that colonial confectioners sometimes rented
them to households by the day. Later, the same fruit
was sold to other, more affluent clients who actually
ate it. As you might imagine, hostesses would have
gone to great lengths to conceal the fact that the
pineapple that was the visual apogee of their table
display and a central topic of their guests' conversation
was only rented.
larger, well-to-do homes, the dining room doors
were kept closed to heighten visitors' suspense
about the table being readied on the other side.
At the appointed moment, and with the maximum amount
of pomp and drama, the doors were flung open to
reveal the evening's main event. Visitors confronted
with pineapple-topped food displays felt particularly
honored by a hostess who obviously spared no expense
to ensure her guests' dining pleasure.
this manner, the fruit which was the visual keystone
of the feast naturally came to symbolize the high
spirits of the social events themselves; the image
of the pineapple coming to express the sense of
welcome, good cheer, human warmth and family affection
inherent to such gracious home gatherings.