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A 1925 Ad For Pineapple Recipes Received Over 60-Thousand Responses – 2500 For Pineapple Upside-Down Cakes

National Pineapple Upside Down Cake Day on April 20th celebrates a sweet cake that contains pineapples and cherries. Americans have been enjoying this springtime cake since the early 1900s when many cakes were made in cast iron skillets.

  • The term ‘upside down cake’ wasn’t used very much before the middle of the 19th century, but the style of baking probably dates back much further, probably to the Middle Ages.
  • The early recipes for fruit upside-down cakes were made in cast iron skillets on top of the stove.
  • 1886 – The first commercially grown pineapple crop is established in Hawaii — Hawaii continues to be a mass producer of pineapples supplying much of the U.S.
  • The classic American ‘Pineapple Upside Down Cake’ dates to sometime after 1901, when Jim Dole invented canned pineapple.
  • The Hawaiian Pineapple Co. (now Dole Pineapple) held a pineapple recipe contest in 1925, with judges from Fannie Farmer’s School, Good Housekeeping and McCall’s magazine on the judging panel. The 100 winning recipes would be published in a cookbook the following year.
  • Over 60,000 submissions were entered. Of those, 2,500 recipes were for pineapple upside-down cake alone!
  • Mrs. Robert Davis, from Norfolk, Virginia, wins a contest sponsored by the Hawaiian Pineapple Company hoping to find new, creative pineapple recipes.
  • The Hawaiin Pineapple Company ran an ad campaign in 1926 based on the fact that so many recipes for the cake had been submitted, naturally making the Pineapple Upside Down Cake even more popular.
  • Caribbean Indians placed pineapples or pineapple crowns outside the entrances of their homes to symbolize friendship and hospitality.
  • The Spanish explorers thought pineapples looked like pinecones, so they called them “Pina.” The English added “apple” to associate it with juicy delectable fruits.
  • Pineapple, “halakahiki” in Hawaiian, meaning foreign fruit, has been grown in Hawaii since the early 1800’s.
  • The word “pineapple” in English was first recorded in 1398, when it was originally used to describe the reproductive organs of conifer trees (now termed pine cones).
  • Raw pineapple is an excellent source of manganese (76% daily value) in a one US cup serving) and vitamin C (131% DV per cup serving).
  • The first pineapple to be successfully cultivated in Europe, is said to have been grown by Pieter de la Court at Meerburg in 1658.
  • Once harvested, pineapples don’t continue to ripen.
  • The first mention in print of Pineapple Upside Down cake was in 1930, and was listed in the 1936 Sears Roebuck catalog.
  • Unripe pineapples don’t just taste vile, but can actually be quite poisonous. Eating it causes serious throat irritation and it has a strong laxative effect.
  • traditionally pineapple juice was used as a diuretic and to induce labor.
  • The Bromelain enzyme in pineapples breaks down proteins. This means that you can use pineapple or pineapple juice as a meat tenderizer.
  • Annually, just under 28 million tons of pineapples are produced all over the world with the greatest production serving the U.S. coming from Costa Rica.
  • Raw pineapple pulp is 86% water.


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Jamie Geller

National Today


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