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Rufai Oladimeji
Lagos State University
100Level, Nigeria.
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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
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

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
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

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!


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