Maxwell Ryan
Sep 30, 2004

Sweet fruit. In answer to a question we had in a post about the use of the pineapple as a symbol in Williams-Sonoma's new furniture catalogue, we found more positive feedback on the pineapple than the furniture. While the furniture was thrashed as unoriginal and expensive, the pineapple was revealed as a European welcoming symbol starting with it's first introduction by Columbus in 1493.

We love this stuff.

Completely unique and never seen before, "popularity [of this Caribbean fruit] grew both in European circles and in the American colonies. Since sweets and fresh fruit were rare, the pineapple became a coveted item of the wealthy."

Trotted out for guests like Lutefisk in Norway or Salmon in Japan, the pineapple graduated from truth to symbol, representing good cheer, graciousness and money. No wonder, Chuck Williams chose this for his catalogue. It fits aspirational spending. (Can we use the word "directional" here?) (Thanks to all commenters!) MGR

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