Did you know that the pineapple is a symbol of hospitality here in Charleston?
The pineapple came to Charleston from South America by way of the Caribbean because of Charleston’s prominence as a port city. Fruits and other sweets weren’t very common in the colonial days, so the pineapple was a hit. It was an exotic, never-before-seen fruit and quickly became a symbol of hospitality.
Why the pineapple came to mean so much to Charleston is a little fuzzy. One common belief is that we have sailors to thank for making pineapples a symbol of our southern hospitality. As sailors returned from a long trip at sea, they would often spear a pineapple onto their fence post to let everyone know they had made it home safely.
In addition, the speared pineapple was an open invitation to come in for a drink or meal. Pineapples also came to represent luxury because they were so difficult to come by, took years to grow, and often rotted before arriving on the SC coast.
We don’t spear pineapples to our fences anymore, but these days the pineapple can still be found everywhere in Charleston….on meus, jewelry, gate embellishments and of course, the pineapple fountain at Waterfront Park that welcomes visitors near & far. (Credit: CHS Today)