Where did pineapples originate?
This was the last day of my Daily Doodle book that I didn't already have a plan for the Doodle topic. It was an interesting moment when I realized this fact, so it had to be a special one. A few of my favorite people LOVE pineapple, and surprisingly I haven't painted a pineapple this year, so that solves it! I'll be honest, I was going to ask how many years does a pineapple take to grow, but the answers are all over the map, and though I didn't need an "easy" painting, I was not interested in sorting through hours of research to come up with a muddled answer, so origin story it is for the pineapple Doodle.
Pineapples are thought to have originated in Brazil and Paraguay in South America. They were first discovered by Europeans in 1493 on the Caribbean Island now known as Guadeloupe. Pineapples likely arrived in the Caribbean after centuries of Indian migration and commerce.
When Christopher Columbus and other discoverers brought pineapples back to Europe, attempts were made to cultivate the sweet, prized fruit until it was realized that the fruit’s need for a tropical climate inhibited its ability to flourish outside of the tropics.
Pineapples proved to be an exceptionally good fruit to bring on long sailing voyages because they help to prevent, just like oranges, the often lethal disease scurvy. As a side note: the mix of pineapple and sand also is a great cleaning agent for the large wooden ships used to cross the oceans.
By the end of the 16th century, Portuguese and Spanish explorers introduced pineapples into many of their Asian, African and South Pacific colonies – countries in which pineapples are still grown today.
It is unknown when the first pineapples arrived in Hawaii. It is probable that they arrived together with the earliest European visitors to the Hawaiian Islands. The first documented claim of these early visits was by the Spaniards in the 16th century. Since pineapples were such a popular fruit to take on long transatlantic voyages, any ship arriving in Hawaii may have brought some of these fruits along with them.
Lutheran missionaries introduced the pineapple to Australia in the 1830’s and it now grows predominantly along the coast of Queensland.
The first steps into the commercialization of pineapples were taken in the 1880s, but things really picked up after James Drummond Dole (do you recognize that name?) entered the pineapple world in 1903.
By the early 1960s, Hawaii supplied over 80% of the worlds output of canned pineapple. This golden period did not last long though. Growing pineapples became cheaper in other countries. Today, 75% of the world’s pineapples come from Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines.
Did you know Pineapples are not a single fruit, but a group of berries that have fused together? The technical term for this is a “multiple fruit” or a “collective fruit”. Each of those segments was a flower that turned into a berry that fused together with it's neighbors to become a pineapple!
In case you are still curious about the length of time it takes for a pineapple to grow, the simple answer is it can take more than two years for a pineapple plant to produce a single pineapple fruit. Pineapple plants can grow from seeds (which takes longer) or through vegetative reproduction (cloning). Cloning is by far the most popular method to grow new pineapples. To clone a pineapple you can use four different parts of the plant: the crowns, slips, suckers, and shoots. The crown is the very top of the pineapple fruit (yes, you can take off the crown of a pineapple, but the bottom in a jar of water until it roots and then grow it in a pot indoors if you don't live in a tropical paradise). Slips are the leafy branches that are attached directly below the fruit. The suckers and shoots both originate from near the bottom of the stem.