Poisson d’avril

Posted by on Mar 29, 2013 in News | 0 comments

Poisson d’avril

On April 1, people all over the world play practical jokes on each other – hence the name April Fools Day. In France however, it’s all about fish. Children carefully cut out paper fish and tape them on their unsuspecting friend’s backs. When I was a child – the ultimate poisson d’avril was surreptitiously taping a fish on the teacher’s back. Why fish? The tradition goes back to the 16th Century when gifts were often in the form of food. As April 1 was usually during lent when eating meat was forbidden for Christians, fish was omnipresent. When the concept of practical jokes started, one of the most common was offering fake fish. Of course, the French have elevated this wonderful day of pranks and fun to high gastronomy. The displays in the pâtisseries and chocolatier windows are breathtaking. Large poissons, tiny poissons, dark chocolate, white chocolate, marzipan – you name it – there are all manner of poissons! In the fall, when we lead our wonderful A Castle in Provence tours, the displays are equally as breathtaking but in the meantime, happy poisson d’avril!

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