It’s easy to forget – in grocery store aisles crowded with products – that items we place casually in our shopping carts were once considered (and treated as) precious commodities.
The trade routes of the world developed in the dangerous pursuit of cinnamon, coffee, ginger… pineapple.
There’s so much I didn’t know about this unprepossessing fruit.
Did you know, for example, that pineapples don’t grow on trees? I had no idea. I just assumed.
And that pineapples are not actually an ancient symbol of hospitality?
It turns out that the notion of the prickly fruit representing warm welcome is believed by many historians to be pure bunk.
Pinecones, on the other hand (which pineapples resemble – apparently), were used far back in ancient Greece to represent fertility and regeneration . The frequent use of the pineapple as a decorative motif is considered to have its roots in this tradition (which would explain the use of pineapples on bedposts in the 17th and 18th centuries).
That said, I like the idea of pineapples as symbols of hospitality and welcome. Why can’t a fruit take on a new meaning? Why can’t pineapples, like people, be reinvented and renewed?
So, in honor of fresh beginnings, try these Pineapple Welcome Muffins. They make a fine breakfast, or – with cream cheese icing – a nice dessert.
- 4 oz cream cheese
- ¼ cup white sugar
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 egg
- ½ cup yogurt or sour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 can crushed pineapple, drained (19 oz / 540 ml)
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- ½ cup shredded coconut
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Grease or line 16 muffin cups.
- Beat cream cheese in medium bowl until soft.
- Add sugar and beat until fluffy.
- Beat in egg. Add vanilla and yogurt.
- Stir in pineapple and blend thoroughly.
- In separate bowl, stir together remaining ingredients, then add to pineapple mixture. Blend gently just until dry ingredients are moistened.
- Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups and bake approximately 30 minutes.
- Remove from oven. Let stand a few minutes before removing from pan and cooling on rack.
- Try substituting coconut extract for the vanilla
- Add ½ cup chopped pecans
- Add 1 teaspoon of nutmeg