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The Story of the Pineapple starts when Christopher Columbus brought the pineapple, which originated in South America, back to Europe as one of the prizes obtained in the New World.
At that time sweets were not a common item because sugar was a rare, imported commodity, as was fruit. And so it was that the pineapple, with its intense sweetness, became so desirable and sought after. Pineapples were used impressively on banquets and considered to be the height of extravagance in Europe. It took Europeans two centuries to perfect a hothouse method of growing the fruit.
In later centuries, The Story of the Pineapple continues in the early American colonies when pineapples were used as symbols of hospitality and friendship. The legend tells of the sea captains of New England, who sailed to the Caribbean Islands and returned to the colonies with exotic fruits and spices.
When clipper ships returned to port, their families would spear a precious pineapple on their iron gatepost as a common symbol to welcome friends and neighbors into their homes to celebrate the safe return of the captain and crew. The pineapple served as an invitation for them to visit, share his food and listen to the tales of the voyage.
In early settlements, the pineapple was traditionally given as a gift of friendship. Over time, colonial Innkeepers added the pineapple to their signs and bedposts carved with pineapples were a common sight at Inns throughout New England. The tradition continues and we offer our HYER crew a symbol of friendship and a reminder to think happy thoughts.