We don’t usually think about fruit being that expensive. In fact, I can typically find a banana for less than a dollar in most places!
Fruit is meant to be a good part of a balanced diet, so even if you do end up spending a few bucks more on your favorite fruit, at least it’s for a worthy cause.
Even something like pineapples, a tropical fruit which can only be grown in certain climates, are still easy to find almost anywhere. Thanks to mass production, even after shipping costs they still won’t end up being too costly.
But what if I told you there was a certain type of pineapple that is worth thousands of dollars?
To be fair, that wouldn’t be too far off from how things were a few centuries ago.
Looking into the past…
To put things into perspective, let’s take a step back in time!
In the 1700’s, pineapples used to be a status symbol of wealth. This was because they weren’t grown in Europe, so when world explorers brought back this rare and exotic new fruit, supply was low and demand was high.
In those days, one pineapple would cost today’s equivalent to $8,000 dollars! Of course, pineapples are now easily acquired, even by us average folks, and the symbol is gone.
However, there are still a few pineapples with a hefty price tag on them.
At the Lost Gardens of Heligan in the United Kingdom, you’ll find pineapples grown in mud structures heated with rotting manure. But don’t worry – the pineapples never actually come into contact with the manure.
The odd strategies used here are reflective of older techniques in order to grow this tropical fruit in a colder climate.
In fact, the structure these rare pineapples are grown in was unearthed in 1991 and renovated just two years later to a working state.
How much does it cost to make these pineapples?
Well technically, these special pineapples aren’t even on the market – so they’re priceless. However with the manpower over the course of the 2 years it takes to grow a pineapple, the cost to make each pineapple is $1,300.
So if they’re not for sale, where do they go? The successfully grown pineapples go right back to the staff who grew them as an appreciation for growing them in the first place. But, one of the pineapples has been given away.
The second pineapple ever grown in the Lost Gardens was gifted to Queen Elizabeth II in honor of her 50th wedding anniversary.
If that’s what it takes to get your hand on one of these Victorian-grown pineapples, I wouldn’t hold your breath!
How much are these pineapples worth?
If one of these elusive pineapples were to go up for auction or sale, due to the rarity, ancient technique, time spent growing, and manual labor, these pineapples are worth $16,000!
Although you’ll probably never be able to taste one for yourself, staff describes the taste as “deliciously sweet, not stringy, and with an explosive flavor.”
On the plus side, at least the legacy of these pineapples will make us appreciate the lowly cost of our standard Dole pineapples at the grocery store!