Toni Weidman Homes for Sale -Florida Luxury

The Pineapple as a Symbol of Hospitality, How Did It Happen

The Pineapple as a Symbol of Hospitality, How Did It Happen

Christopher Columbus is credited with discovering, not only the Americas, but the Pineapplepineapple. Although, he didn’t so much as discover it as eat it when is was presented to him on the island now known as Guadalupe. The island people would set a pineapple at the entrance to their village if they allowed the explorers to visit. To them, it was a symbol of hospitality. Columbus took the pineapples home to Europe after his second voyage in 1493.

By 1642, pineapples were being grown in the hothouses of Europe, and the aristocracy was enjoying the fruit at their high-style dinners. It was hard to grow; and very expensive. It wasn’t until after World War 2 that it became much  more available to the common man (and woman).

The sea captains of colonial America brought them back from their voyages, and put one on a gatepost or porch post to let their friends know they were home and wanting to share their tales of adventure on the high seas. Fresh pineapples were set in the middle of the table at celebration dinners with friends. People began to have pineapples carved on headboards or posts used in the guest bedrooms as symbols of the highest hospitality.

Coronado Springs-Orlando

Soon innkeepers were adding it to their signs and room decorations. And, the tradition continues today. This lovely fountain is in the lobby at Coronado Springs in Disney World, Orlando.

I used to love to do stenciling of walls and furniture, and the pineapple is extremely popular. Many beautiful copies of old patterns can be found to use in your home. Just don't go overboard with this type of decoration especially if your thinking of selling. Not everyone likes having to paint over them when they buy a house; a border near the ceiling is nice.

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Comment balloon 40 commentsToni Weidman • August 04 2012 05:06AM


Thanks for the history lesson. I have always seen them on display in various forms but never knew the significance.

Posted by Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty, Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County (Bucci Realty, Inc.) over 8 years ago

Toni: Interesting information about the history of the pineapple.  I learn new things everyday here in the Rain!

Posted by Anita Clark, Realtor - Homes for Sale in Warner Robins GA (Coldwell Banker Access Realty ~ 478.960.8055) over 8 years ago
Toni...I love this because I love pineapples. I never knew about what they symbolized until years ago. I love learning about why or how something came about.
Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) over 8 years ago

Gary - they are everywhere and sometimes you don't even notice them.

Anita - I do too; isn't that a great thing to be able to do?

Kathy - me too. I think I'm a researcher at heart.

Posted by Toni Weidman, 20+ Years Selling Homes in New Port Richey, FL (Sailwinds Realty) over 8 years ago

Toni, as always, thanks for the informative posting. I kind of knew that but didn't realize where the tradition had begun. My oldest son has some property in Belize and has some pineapples growing there. Most people don't realize that you only get one pineapple per plant, making them even more special. Have a great day!

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) over 8 years ago

Good morning Toni,

Well I just learned something new..thanks for information..we do see the pineapple used in a lot of motifs..I knew it stood for hospitality but not how it came to be!

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899) over 8 years ago

Toni, Enjoyed reading about the pineapple history. Now I'm sure I'm going to start noticing them more and more often now!

Posted by Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400, Long Island Condo and Home Specialists (The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803) over 8 years ago

Toni, Pineapples were pretty popular for decoration when we lived in Charleston, SC.  Obviously a lot of sea history there too :)

Posted by Liz and Bill Spear, RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton) (RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 over 8 years ago

Hi Toni.  I knew that pineapples symbolized hospitality, but I never knew how that came about.  So actually we are continuing the tradition of the native inhabitatants of Guadalupe from the 1400's -- all the way to a fountain in Disney World.  It seems so unlikely, and yet here we are!

Posted by Dianne Goode, Realtor/Broker (Raleigh Cary Realty) over 8 years ago

Fred - that's also why they were so expensive. Thanks for the additional info.

Dorrie - always glad to contribute something. Thanks.

Larry & Sheila - yes, that does tend to happen, doesn't it :)

Bliz - definitely a lot. I loved Charleston when we visited there--so much history.

Dianne - wow, that's a great analysis. Love it!

Posted by Toni Weidman, 20+ Years Selling Homes in New Port Richey, FL (Sailwinds Realty) over 8 years ago

Toni: I love historical origin stories like that- They make you appreciate a lot of the stuff in life that we take for granted.  It's interesting- even in the Midwest, where I live, it's not uncommon to see the tropical pineapple on display as some form of art at the entrance to homes- Including my home!  I thought my wife just thought it looked cute, but now I know it has its own significance- Thanks for sharing!  :)

Posted by Andrew Capelli (Hoover Elementary) over 8 years ago

Good morning Toni -

You have just verified my brides story.  Years ago, Debbie brought a hand carved pineapple from Alabama with her and insisted it be at the front door.  Not the normal for the southwest but she insisted saying it is a welcome sign just as the chile ristras are.  So we have both at our entrance.  Suppose we double welcome everyone to our home :)  Suggested

Posted by John McCormack, CRS, Honesty, Integrity, Results, Experienced. HIRE Me! (Albuquerque Homes Realty) over 8 years ago

Toni, what a great story today and history of the pineapple!    I have seen many of these in the Caribbean also.

Posted by Joan Cox, Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time (House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373) over 8 years ago

Toni, you taught me another thing here in the Rain...thanks, never knew the backstory of the pineapple...:-)

Posted by Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®, Giving Back With Each Home Sold! (RE/MAX Realty Center ) over 8 years ago

It seems I remember hearing about this when we visited Hawaii. Thanks for the reminder. Very interesting! I have pineapples on my 4 poster bed. HA! Never thought about it!

Posted by Joni Bailey, Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR® (101 Main St. Realty) over 8 years ago

Toni, one of my favorite fruits, the pineapple. Ah there is nothing like the taste. Thanks for the pineapple symbol history lesson.

Posted by Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®, Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate over 8 years ago

Andrew - it's always good to know why your wife does something :) Glad I could clarify that for you.

John - that's so nice; a double welcome. Debbie is a very smart lady.

Joan- that's where they came from. Thanks.

Kristin - glad to assist.

Joni - It's one of those ubiquitous things that we never consider.

Rebecca - definitely one of my favs too. The taste is wonderful but not everyone likes it.

Posted by Toni Weidman, 20+ Years Selling Homes in New Port Richey, FL (Sailwinds Realty) over 8 years ago

Toni,  Wow I learn something new today again from you, thank you so much.  Have a great weekend.

Posted by Will Hamm, "Where There's a Will, There's a Way!" (Hamm Homes) over 8 years ago

Hi Toni,

One of the best posts I have read in months. It is such a neat picture and the information about the pineapple was so interesting. I have pineapples and elephants as the theme in my house and yard so I was glad to know this. Thanks and I am suggesting this as a feature.

Posted by Kristin Hamilton CA Realtor, (909) 557-6966- Specialize 55+ Communties Banning (Sun Lakes Realty) over 8 years ago

Hi Toni,  I have seen furniture with the pineapples carved in them.  I always wondered why and now you have solved the mystery for me. 

Posted by Belinda Spillman, Colorado Living! (Aspen Lane Real Estate Colorful Colorado) over 8 years ago

Great history on the pineapple and its significance.  I LOVE pineapple, especially when its sweet!  My dogs have always loved the core and come running when I know I am cleaning it in the kitchen.  I guess its because it reminds me of home.  

Posted by Jennifer Chiongbian, Real Estate Broker - NYC (Specializing in all types of Manhattan apts & townhouses) over 8 years ago

That darned Columbus!  He went around claiming to have discovered America, and now he's even accredited with finding pineapples. . .BUT everyone knows America was already here, and there were people here.  I'll bet there were also humans pretty close to those pineapples too:-)

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) over 8 years ago

Will - anytime I can up the knowledge quotient of a friend-I'm happy!

Kristin - thank you very much, you are very sweet.

Belinda - always glad to help :):)

Jennifer - how nice (the part about reminding you of home). I didn't realize dogs like pineapple before-thanks for letting me know.

Myrl - he was really just a big braggart, I guess. I think the pineapples were already there when he got there but if he wants to say he "discovered" them; who are we to dispute it (it's a little late). :-)


Posted by Toni Weidman, 20+ Years Selling Homes in New Port Richey, FL (Sailwinds Realty) over 8 years ago


Great post on the pineapple.  When we were back East in Connecticut, Virginia and DC, I was amazed how many stores and hotels had the pineaplle symbol as did homes.  It really is part of Colonial America.  A

Posted by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy (Napa Consultants) over 8 years ago
Hi Toni, Very informative background on the pineapple. I have used the pineapple myself as the focal point for dinner. Set on large crystal blocks, a set of three looks quite nice. Have you ever served pineapple braised off the grill. It is a real treat when serving a steak or salmon off the grill. I usually cut it about 2 inches thick and it looks and tastes awesome.
Posted by William Johnson, Retired Real Estate Professional (Retired) over 8 years ago

Toni - Thank you so much for sharing this info.  I always love learning about the origin of symbols and phrases.  Thx for sharing something new.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) over 8 years ago

Alexandra - I just regretted that I couldn't find a fresh one to photograph like yours.

William - that sounds wonderful; we will try it next time, thanks for the tip.

Debbie Gartner - me too; I enjoy any historical info.

Thank you all.

Posted by Toni Weidman, 20+ Years Selling Homes in New Port Richey, FL (Sailwinds Realty) over 8 years ago

  Thanks for the Ah-ha moment!
Featured you in my Weekly Post!

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) over 8 years ago


Pineapples have so many values and you've brought us some great educational information.

The pineapple is welcomed whether it's a stencil or a piece of fruit to eat. Thanks for a very informative and fun blog post! You're a teacher here in the Rain!

Posted by Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP, Selling Homes Changing Lives (DFW FINE PROPERTIES) over 8 years ago

Kathy - thank you for featuring me on your post!

Patricia - they are so tasty. I like William's tip to grill them-sounds yummy. Thank you for the kind words.

Posted by Toni Weidman, 20+ Years Selling Homes in New Port Richey, FL (Sailwinds Realty) over 8 years ago

Good morning Toni,

I was so glad to see Kathy posted you in her Sunday morning Ah ha post! I remember reading and commenting on this post. A worthy feature..congratulations.

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899) over 8 years ago

Thank you for the lesson. When I set up my home staging business in Charleston, our logo symbol was the pineapple because of it's symbol of hospitality and the fact that we had lived for 6 years in Hawaii and I personally had that connection. 

Posted by Melissa Marro, Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging (Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team) over 8 years ago

Hi Toni, I love this story and the hospitality symbol that it is. This is great to know and to use!

Posted by Sandy Acevedo, RE/MAX Masters, Inland Empire Homes for Sale (951-290-8588) over 8 years ago

Thank you for explaining the origins of the pineapple's symbology-I loved seeing those wonderful carved pineapples on doorways and on posts in front of homes-it makes me feel so welcome.

Posted by Joanna Cohlan, Designing, Decorating & Staging Westchester Homes (Fresh Eyes For Your Home) over 8 years ago

Howdy and evening Toni

Toni my friend, now that is something to do with History and the Pineapple I sure did not know! That sure is mighty cool that the Pineapple is a Symbol of Hospitality. You outstanding blog post has gave me an idea.

Have a good one 

Dale in New Hampshire

Posted by Dale Baker, New Hampshire Relocation Real Estate Information (Baker Energy Audits and Commercial Properties Inspections) over 8 years ago


I didn't know that Christopher Columbus took the pineapple to Europe.  What a great history of pineapples.  Thanks for the enlightenment.

Posted by Evelyn Kennedy, Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA (Alain Pinel Realtors) over 8 years ago

Dorrie - thank you!

Melissa - a doubly good symbol to use!

Sandy - thanks!

Joanna - I always notice them too!

Dale - always good to spark an idea for a friend :)

Evelyn - I was surprised too. Funny thing is that one of the kings didn't like the taste :)

Posted by Toni Weidman, 20+ Years Selling Homes in New Port Richey, FL (Sailwinds Realty) over 8 years ago

Thanks for the history lesson.  Pineapples are much used in Colonial Williamsburg as a sign of hospitality.  

I will re-blog this and post it on my Facebook page.

Posted by Roy Kelley (Realty Group Referrals) over 8 years ago

You are absolutely correct and that is why William Pitt Sotheby's International Realty uses the pineapple as their symbol.


Posted by David Popoff, Realtor®,SRS, Green ~ Fairfield County, Ct (DMK Real Estate ) over 8 years ago

Roy - thank you!

David - Makes sense to me!

Posted by Toni Weidman, 20+ Years Selling Homes in New Port Richey, FL (Sailwinds Realty) over 8 years ago

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