Tropic Like It's Hot - The Pineapple

Tropic Like It's Hot - The Pineapple

The tale of the pineapple is no ordinary fruit saga. Beyond its role in summery cocktails and fruity medleys, this tropical gem has a rich history. Hailing from South America, its Latin alias 'ananas comosus' is a nod to its Guarani roots, translating to 'sweet-smelling and superb fruit.


In the 16th century, pineapples made their way to Europe, courtesy of Christopher Columbus. During his travels in 1493, he stumbled upon pineapples in Guadeloupe and transported them back to Spain. Introduced to Britain in the 15th century, it soon became evident that the unsuitable climate made it impossible to cultivate them successfully. Nevertheless, despite the challenges, people persisted in their efforts, leading to numerous unsuccessful attempts to grow the fruit over almost two centuries until they finally achieved success in the 18th century by utilizing 'hot houses.' Due to the challenge of transporting them from the colonies without spoiling, pineapples were considered rare and highly sought after, becoming a symbol of status in the 16th and 17th centuries.

The Aztec word for pineapple is matzatli as seen here is Francisco Hernández’s, Nova Plantarum, Animalium et Mineralium Mexicanorum Historia (1651). 

As time passed, like many things, the pineapple's fame waned. By the 18th century, they were readily imported from colonies and successfully grown in Britain. The once scarce and sought-after fruit became commonplace and ordinary. Different trends took over the cultural spotlight, yet the fruit remained popular.

Engraving of a pineapple in Thevet’s ‘The new found World or Antartictike’, published in 1558. 
An illustration of a pineapple circa 1772. SCAN BY NYPL / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS (PUBLIC DOMAIN).


The Pineapple as a Symbol of Hospitality 

Pineapples weren't just fruit - they were ambassadors of hospitality and class.

Over time, as pineapples became more accessible, they took on extra symbolic meanings that resonated with ordinary people. For instance, the practice of incorporating pineapples in architectural decorations outside homes was introduced in Europe by travelers who had visited the New World and observed pineapples adorning the entrances of Caribbean villages. These travelers interpreted the pineapple as a symbol of hospitality due to the warm reception they received from the local inhabitants.

In old tales, there's a quirky custom of popping a pineapple outside a sailor's abode to announce his triumphant return from sunny shores. The pineapple acts as a sweet invite for neighbors to swing by, share tales, and soak in the salty stories of the high seas.

Canal House Cooking Volume No.3 by Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton

Now, the pineapple is the ultimate icon of welcome, spreading good vibes to all who cross its path. That's why you'll often find pineapples popping up as the life of the party in the homes and gardens of the friendliest hosts around.

The Modern Pineapple

On Pinterest and TikTok the popularity of "Pineapple Mocktail" has surged by 70%, leading pineapples to feature in drinkware, wallpaper, and tableware. Barware, trinket trays, and lamps are also embracing the pineapple trend. Furthermore, pineapples are making a splash in skincare, fashion, and even in the pet market.

1. Anthropologie | 2. Camp Craft Cocktails

1. Joanna Buchanan | 2. Les Ottomans | 3. House of Hackney

Barbet and The Pineapple

When we were trying combination after combination of different ingredients trying to come up with our blends, pineapple always made the cut.

In Katie's backyard tasting Light Wave for the very first time. 

It took us awhile to try and find their ideal roommates for Light Wave and, after numerous attempts, we found that cucumber and pineapple were a match made in heaven. While an unlikely duo on paper, these two lovebirds balance each other out. But, for us, pineapple also just conjures up feelings of sunny days filled with joy, camaraderie, and delicious drinks.



Barbet Pineapple Paloma Recipe