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Pizzamas rolls on. I probably won't deliver YOUR pizzamas order, but who knows! (I won't, though. Probably.)

In which John delivers Pizzamas merch around Indianapolis while discussing the history of pineapples, and the obsession rich Europeans and North Americans had with pineapples once the Columbian Exchange began, and The Most Invincible King Ferdinand of Spain eating pineapples. It's a video about pineapples.

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Good morning, Hank, it's Wednesday.  I'm on way to deliver some Pizzamas merch to people who live in Indianapolis just for the sake of efficiency.  Did you know that it costs about $4.50 to ship a t-shirt from one part of Indianapolis to a different part of Indianapolis, and it costs about $5.50 to ship a t-shirt from one part of Indianapolis to Singapore.  It's partly because international shipping rates are decided by a secret cabal independent of actual transportation costs, but that's not what this video is about.  This video is about pineapples.

So there's an entire episode of my podcast The Anthropocene Reviewed about putting pineapple on pizza, but just to give you the highlight: Pineapple pizza was invented in 1962 in Canada by a Greek immigrant who was inspired by Chinese cuisine to put a South American food on an Italian dish.  Whatever you think of pineapple on pizza in terms of taste, as a food, it is peak anthropocene.  

There are pineapple pizzas that contain ingredients from three or even four different continents.  There are individual pizzas that have seen more of the world that I ever will.  Hold on, I have to go get a haircut.  I have made my first delivery.  She was not home, but Krista, I hope you enjoy your poster.  

The thing that gets me about pineapples though is how much rich people worshipped them only a couple hundred years ago.  Like, having regular access to pineapples was the 18th century rich person's version of owning a space exploration start-up or something.  The reason you see pineapples in so many old still-life paintings is that rich people loved to brag about their pineapples, and they were very expensive.  Like, a single pineapple in the US or Europe could cost the equivalent of 10,000 US dollars in today's money.  $10,000!   For a pineapple!  And not the kind under the sea in which you can reside, either.

So pineapples ended up becoming such a symbol of wealth that they were embroidered onto footstools and sculpted onto silver tables and built atop buildings.  Alright, I'm at my second stop.  Delivery two accomplished; he was so nice.  So the expense was partly due to pineapples being very hard to grow in Europe because they thrive in tropical climates and the story of the pineapple is, in many ways, the story of the Colombian exchange.  Almost all the pineapples eaten in Europe in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries were grown by colonized or enslaved people and almost all the wealth generated by the pineapple trade ended up with colonizers.  

Pineapples were eventually grown in Europe, although never in large quantities.  In fact, my favorite pineapple painting is this one, which features the English gardener, John Rose, delivering the first pineapple ever grown in England to King Charles II.  I just love how the King's body language is like, "I don't need that pineapple, I'm the King of England," but then his hand is like, "Gimme the pineapple!"  Louis XV of France loved pineapples, as did Catherine the Great of Russia, and King Ferdinand of Spain was purportedly the first person to taste a pineapple on European soil back in 1496.  An observer wrote, "The most invincible King Ferdinand relates that he has eaten another fruit brought from those countries.  It is like a pine nut in form and color, covered in scales and firmer than a melon.  Its flavor excels all other fruits."  

Alright, time for my next painting delivery.  Thanks for being so nice, Megan, and good luck at school.  The US's first president, George Washington, was also a big pineapple fan.  He only left the North American mainland once in his life to visit Barbados when he was 19 and he tasted many new foods while was there, including avocados, but he reported, "None pleases my taste as does the pine."  

So if we were to be visited by rich people from 18th century Europe or North America, the question might not be, "Why are you putting pineapple on pizza?", the question might be, "Why aren't you putting pineapple on everything?  Y'all can get pineapples from the grocery store any day of the week for $3?  How do you resist gorging yourself to death on those prickly sweet miracles?"  

I have to go make my final delivery.  Not home, but Ben, I hope you enjoy your shirt and your pin.  If you want to learn much more about pineapple on pizza, there's a link in the doobly-doo to the Anthropocene Reviewed.  Also, if you wanna express your pineapple pizza o-pin-ions, we have these wonderful pins, which, like all of this amazingness, is only available during Pizzamas and only at  Hank, I will see you tomorrow.