Did you know that though pineapple is today available worldwide, it originated in a place between today’s Paraguay and Brazil? That means pineapples are native to South America before Christopher Columbus discovered them in 1493 and took the fruit back to Europe. Moreover, ancient civilizations like the Mayans and the Aztecs were very well-familiar with this fruit.
This fruit was first named as “pina” because it looks like a large pine cone. The first-ever record of the word ‘Pineapple’ dates back to 1398. However, back then, the word was actually a description of ‘pine cones’. In 1694, for the first time in the history of humankind, ‘pine cones’ were called pine cones and not ‘pineapples’! In the year 1664, European explorers reached the Americas. They saw the fruit and found a striking resemblance between pine cones and the fruit. No wonder they called it ‘pineapple’. So actually, between 1664 and 1694, the word ‘pineapple’ referred to both the fruit and the pine cones. Surprisingly, pineapples were such a status symbol in 18th century England that you could rent one for the evening to take to a party. In France, King Louis XV was presented with a pineapple that had been grown at Versailles in 1733.
In the Philippines, the leaves of pineapple are used for producing a particular type of fiber called piña. This piña is a textile fiber and is a common material in Barong Tagalog and Baro’t Saya – dresses worn by men and women respectively. It may be a bit surprising but did you know that piña is not just used for making clothes. It is also a major component of furnishings and wallpaper!