As you tour New Orleans and examine the beautiful iron and stone work found throughout the French Quarter and surrounding houses Uptown and in the Garden District, you will find one pattern repeated over and over: the pineapple. Once you take a look inside some of our historic homes and plantations, you will find the pineapple theme present there, as well. Why so many pineapples in a region known for citrus and sugar? Turns out, the pineapple is the classic symbol of Southern hospitality. Pineapples have been a treat to upper crust Westerners since Columbus brought one back from his first trip to the West Indies in the fifteenth century. It took decades before Europe could successfully cultivate the sweet fruit, so the pineapple became a hot commodity. In colonial America, where the pineapple was easier to come by, it became the ultimate sign of welcome to place a pineapple out for a guest. Some grocers even rented out pineapples to those who couldn’t afford the extravagant fruit! Even if you didn’t end up eating the pineapple, the simple fact that it was present upon arrival in someone’s home was testimony that the hostess had spared no expense to welcome you.