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The History of the Welcome Pineapple
Welcome! Here's a tangy fruit--and its origin.
By Starling Root
Illustration by Laura Bramble
After suffering the perils of ship life and seeing little else but the sea for weeks, you and your men have finally spotted land. Where there is land, there are likely people. And where there are people, there is bounty. You came to pirate and pirate you shall.
It is between the late 15th and 17th centuries, and you are a European sailor, likely English, Dutch, French, or Spanish. Your ship has reached the West Indies, a region known for its precious minerals and diverse flora and fauna.
We'll gloss over the gruesome details but it suffices to say that you and your crew were successful in your pirating. Your ship now brims with many necessities, a few rarities, and perhaps even one or two priceless treasures. It is time to return home to your wife and family.
Once you arrive at your village, you and your crew unload the ship, carting your loot to your abode. To inform your neighbors of your return, you place a pineapple outside of your front door. Now they know to come to your home for the inevitable feast the women folk shall prepare in the coming days. Your more business savvy neighbors may also approach you to strike a barter deal. You probably have spices, meats, and fabrics that they and their families want.
Whatever the case may be, by putting that pineapple outside of your home, your neighbors know that they're welcome to visit.
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