Pineapples cost as much as an old coach back in the day—the equivalent of a car today! Find out why
Status was a pretty big deal back in olden times, and there were all kinds of ways to show it. For example, one might have worn a fancy ring, or driven in a new, glossy coach to attach some horses to. Most of the time class was shown by exquisite clothing. Sometimes it was displayed by strutting around with a fresh pineapple in your arms.
What you just read is not a typo. Because of the rarity of the sweet fruit, pineapple was considered a symbol of status and class. Everything from practical to impractical items were created in the image of the succulent Bromelioieae. People would literally carry a pineapple under their arms if they wanted others to know how powerful and rich they were. They would take it to parties and gatherings until it would begin to rot. At one point one could even rent a pineapple for a night.
Of course, these symbols of status did not come cheap. Pineapples cost the rich and vain a sizable amount, equal to about 8,000 dollars. Back then that was the price of a new coach. Imagine sitting at a car dealership today and contemplating whether or not to buy a pineapple over a brand new challenger or Aston Martin. Insane!