A post in which I find out whether it's possible to give someone a serious pineapple-themed gift.
When I was in America earlier this month, my friend Laurie asked me for gift ideas for her friend, Sarah.
The only thing Laurie told me about Sarah was that she liked pineapples and wore silk kimonos.
An actual pineapple was vetoed and novelty pyjamas were out.
This was the ultimate test of my gift-giving abilities. As I was out of my natural environment, I couldn’t suggest any shops in San Francisco that would sell something both pineapple-y and desirable. We went to Jonathan Adler on Fillmore Street but a trip there proved fruitless, literally.
My suggestions fell short. I was a fish flopping about on dry land.
In idle moments since getting back to London, I thought about that challenge. Could a chic pineapple gift be done? Was it ridiculous to give a pineapple-themed gift to someone?
I wondered why I thought so much about pineapple-related gifts and then it hit me.
I remembered seeing a painting of Charles II receiving a pineapple. If Queen Elizabeth II commissioned a painting of her receiving a pineapple, you'd raise an eyebrow. But in the 17th Century, it was a mark of wealth and privilege.
When pineapples were first available to buy in the 1700s, a single fruit cost the equivalent in today’s money of £5,000 (about $7,000).
Pineapples weren’t a ridiculous point of inspiration for gifts! They had a noble provenance!
And like the comeback you deliver too late, one month later, here are my pineapple suggestions.