In colonial New England the hostess would set a fresh pineapple in the center of the dining table to welcome guests. Visiting was the primary means of entertainment and cultural exchange, so the concept of hospitality was a central element in colonial life. The pineapple symbolized the warmest welcome a hostess could extend to her guests. Often it also served as the dessert for the meal. If the guest spent the night, the hostess would offer a bed in which pineapples had been carved on either the bedposts or the headboard.
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