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Edible Charleston, SC History & Chef John Ondo Honors Pineapple Legend at Lana
8/18/2014 5:03:22 PM

Chef John Ondo Pays Sweet Hommage to Charleston, SC's Pineapple Legend
Several of America’s most iconic food creations, especially desserts, were also a chance of discovery. And often enough a gooey mess. From the blissful mishap that led to the creation of the tarte tatin in France to its American descendent, the Pineapple Upside Down Cake. With its soft pineapples encased in sticky caramelized sugar atop densely rich cake, it became one of America’s “sweetest” and most loved desserts of the past century.

At Lana Restaurant & Bar in Charleston, South Carolina, Chef John Ondo purposely overcooks the ingredients to marry the burnt sugar and pineapple to perfection. Chef Ondo’s incredible improvisation of the classic confection and cake proves to be a clever spin on a hit. Though his inspiration is not an accident, but a happy culinary creation, many of his dishes are specifically planned to pay a subtle tribute to the amazing historical details of Charleston, his home.

The storied symbolism of the Pineapple reaches back centuries ago when, according to legend, sailors and captains returning home to Charleston would bring exotic fruits from their seafaring voyages in the West Indies. To announce his return, a captain would spear a pineapple on his fence post to signal to friends and neighbor that they could pay a visit for some food and drink. To this day, many homes on and around the waterfront have carved pineapples at the gate, indicating all are welcome in true Southern hospitality.


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