Stand Tall, Wear a Crown and Be Sweet on The Inside.
Pineapples have been trending for some time now, possibly on the way to being surpassed by the cactus as the No.1 groovy motif, but for me, they’ll always be number one. I’ve been a pineapple devotee for years, well ahead of the mainstream surge of popularity with a scrap book of pineapple things way before they even became a thing.
Mosaic, stencils, sequinned T-shirt, upside-down pineapple cake, vintage bowl, fabric, drinking pineapple cocktails from a hollowed-out pineapple, T-towels, eating pineapple at the Big Pineapple and I have even accidentally looked like a pineapple. Sporting a new orange jumper that fell about my torso in a roundish fashion, I glimpsed my reflection. My blonde hair fluffed out atop my head. Yup. Pineapple walking.
So it’s totally fitting that the Print Darling launch range of prints includes a small selection of luscious, beautiful, elegant pineapples by my vivacious friend, the exquisitely talented artist Becky Guggisberg aka Bexta.
Becky’s pineapple romance began during a trip to India, eating them plucked fresh from lush local gardens. Back home she loved their evocative troppo vibe and piled them in bunches and bowls everywhere. Seduced by their fascinating pattern, colour & texture Bexta’s Pineapple series emerged.
Centuries ago fresh pineapples were a rare luxury and coveted delicacy. Fresh pineapple was highly sought after, and became a true symbol of status and prestige.
Due to its rarity and expense, a party hostess could merely display the fruit amid a decorative centrepiece and she would be awarded much social awe and recognition.
At the time pineapples were even rented to households for a day. That same fruit was later sold to other more affluent clients who actually ate it. Throughout the 20th century, pineapples were a symbol of hospitality.
American Sea Captains placed the fruit outside their homes signalling friends that they had returned after a voyage. So began the trend of stone pineapples at the entrance of fine properties. Pineapples appeared frequently in the decorative arts on gates, bedposts, crockery, napkins, tablecloths and door knockers.
I have a cast iron welcome sign at my front door that’s a pineapple, bought from a shop on the Far South Coast called The Pineapple House (I think its in Bermagui now).
Originally from South America, pineapples spread around the world on ships to ward off sailors’ scurvy. Sailors would wash their pineapples down with a nip of rum. That sounds like a Pina Colada to me.
Pineapples are packed with vitamin C but have an extra superpower being that its loaded with Bromelian, an enzyme to support digestion, suppress coughs, loosen mucus, reduce inflammation and tenderise meat.
I lived in the tropics for a time, and recall beachside sellers carving small pineapples into neat, handheld, sweet, juicy edibles which we dunked into the blue salty ocean before chomping our sultry way to pineapple heaven.
Apparently, you can grow your own by twisting the crown off a store-bought pineapple, allowing it to dry for 2-3 days, and then planting it. This hasn’t worked for me though. I am happy to buy mine.
Did you know that a pineapple plant produces only one pineapple every 2 years but a pineapple plant can fruit for up to 50 years in the wild? I could go on, there are many pineapple facts but go to www.kingoffruit.com.au for a complete education.
I cannot however, leave this post without telling you that I sleep on pillowcases (that I just lurve) printed with pineapples. I got them from www.ilovelinen.com.au
Do you have any pineapple tales/recipes/hacks to share?