It's said that popularity and importance of the pineapple dates back to the days of Christopher Columbus and his second voyage to the Caribbean where he and his crew had discovered this delicious, exotic fruit. Fresh fruit and sweet treats were rare in Europe. Cane sugar could be imported from the Middle East but at a high price. The pineapple became known as the treat of Kings.
Upon discovery of this this bumpy fruit with the bright yellow meat it would be nearly 2 centuries before European were able to grow the perfect pineapple. Even well into the 1600s, the pineapple remained so uncommon that King Charles II posed for a portrait receiving a pineapple as a gift, then symbolic of royal privilege. During that same time, across the ocean in the newly settled American Colonies, the pineapple took on other symbolic meanings. Since visiting was the primary means of entertainment, hospitality became an important element of society. Read here.