Funny thing about pineapples, they are’t pines, they aren’t apples and are called annanas in almost every other language but English. I won’t get into the linguistics of the fruit as this post has a deeper story.
When I lived in London, I loved going on walks, the city is structured in the most pedestrian friendly way, that walking there is pure delight. After a few years I discovered that London has toured walks, which is, for those of you who are unaware, you can walk in a neighbourhood and kind of get a history lesson about that area. The one I learnt the most out of or well the one I enjoyed the most was in Maida Vale, also known as “little venice”.
(here is a picture, in case you wanted to see what it looks like)
It was during this walk that I learnt a few interesting things.
Have you ever wondered why the iphone sign is a bitten apple? Alan Turing was the man who invented computers, he also committed suicide by taking a bite from a poisoned apple (was poisoned with cyanide). Some say that the idea to take a bite from a poisoned apple stemmed from Snow White, which was the first time it showed in the theatre back when he was alive and it led to his demise. Thus, the bitten apple became the symbol of Apple. It may not be the inspiration Steve Jobs had, but who’s to say it isn’t. If the shoe fits…I like to believe that it’s true and it makes a hell of a story.
Anyway back to the reason of this post, pineapples represent hospitality and you’ll see it around London and especially Maida Vale, perched on columns and just spread out randomly around the city. I never noticed pineapples until I went on this guided tour and after which I read up on it and it turns out that this symbol has a long and rich history. I won’t bore you with the details, but I would just like to leave you with: It is a universal sign of hospitality, pineapples were often found outside doors, usually in the form of a carving or some sort and thus welcoming guests. Some even displayed it at dinner tables as the centre piece when hosting a party. Maybe next time I host a party I’ll use the symbol and make a pineapple upside down cake, just to show off my welcoming nature since cake is already so welcoming, I guess that makes me twice as hospitable? My mother would be, oh, so proud. 🙂