March 24, 2016

Civil War Era Pinappleade Recipe

"Poor Mr. Doe and Mr. Chick are both very low to day. I carried them cocoa, milk, and pineapple preserves."
- Harriet Eaton, Nov. 14th, 1864

Civil War Recipe Pineappleade | World Turn'd Upside Down

This recipe was cooked for the Historical Food Fortnightly. A yearly challenge that encourages bloggers to cook a historical food every two weeks.

For this challenge I decided to take on a lemonade twist with pineappleade. Pineapples were exotic fruits in the 1800s, mostly grown in Jamaica. They were used for such dishes as ice cream, pudding, pineapple chips, fritters, drinks and marmalade. They were considered a "dessert" fruit and was often paired with sugar.1 Pineapples, being imports, were not as common as home grown fruits. The first large quantity producing pineapple plantation in Florida was started in 1860 by Captain Benjamin Baker, who was probably accustomed to the enjoyment of them at sea. 2   

I wanted to add a dessert type feel to the pineappleade so I dressed it up like fancier drinks of the time, particularly with a straw. In the 1850s and 1860s, drinkers had a few options for drinking straws: rye grass, glass tubes made for the purpose and even hollow noodles.3 4 I opted for a glass tube although I could not find any as long as typically pictured. Rye grass was most common although it gave the drink extra flavor.   

The Challenge: Juicy Fruits (March 11 - March 24) It’s fruits! Do something with fruits. It doesn’t get more simple than that. Bonus points for use of heritage crops and ingredients!

The Recipe:

Civil War Recipe Pineappleade | World Turn'd Upside Down

The Date/Year and Region: United States 1850s-1860s

How Did You Make It: 


-8 Cups Water, boiling
-Powdered Sugar, to taste
-Oranges, Lemons optional.


Pare and core the pineapple. Mince it fine and place in a pitcher. Pour boiling water over the minced pineapple and mash occasionally with a wooden spoon, cover it until room temperature. Add powdered sugar to taste. Refrigerate or put on ice until cool. Pour into cups, add an ice cube, extra sugar if needed and a thin slice of pineapple.

Civil War Recipe Pineappleade | World Turn'd Upside Down

Time to Complete:
Few hours, most of the time was letting the pineappleade cool.

Total Cost: About $4.00

How Successful Was It?: Pretty good. If I was to make it again I would probably add some orange and lemon. It would be a fantastic, chilling drink on a hot summer day.

How Accurate Is It?: The only thing I changed was the garnish style. The drink called for having a thin slice of pineapple stuck on the top of the drink but you couldn't see it in the pictures so I opted for a more modern style.

Another recipe:

1 Webster, Thomas, and William Parkes. An Encyclopaedia of Domestic Economy: Comprising Such Subjects as Are Most Immediately Connected with Housekeeping ... New York: Harper & Brothers Publisher, 1855.

2 Wilkinson, Jerry. HISTORY OF FARMING. Accessed March 24, 2016.

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