Saturday, April 2, 2011

Poisson d'Avril

It turns out they celebrate April Fool's Day here too, but it's a little different.  They call it Poisson d'Avril (April Fish??), and rather than playing random jokes, people try to stick a little fish on someone without being noticed.  (I did see a couple of people walking around with paper fish on their backs yesterday.) Fortunately for me, no one told my kids about this.  It's right up their alley.

In addition to pasting fish on the backs of unsuspecting victims, people here seem to celebrate the 1st of April with all kinds of delicious fish-shaped foods:  cakes, pastries, chocolates.  To make up for the breakfast prank, I decided to surprise the kids with this cake:

Of course, in the spirit of April Fool's Day, I couldn't resist telling the kids that the cake was actually made of fish.  (It's not.)  But it's not too much of a stretch, since, as Will reminded me, "They do eat frog's legs here, after all."

Will was going to eat it no matter what, but Kate?  She wasn't so sure.
 But then she gave it a try...

The verdict? Delicious!

They said they'd eat fish cake anytime.  And me?  I'm already busy dreaming up even better pranks for next year...


  1. The fish thing . . . I still don't get it. Is it a joke? Is it at all related to fooling? Hmmm. I do like all the cute fishy baked goods around, though. Love the cake. Where did you find it?

  2. I don't know the origin of the fish but I think it's just meant to be a fun joke. It's always funny to stick things on unsuspecting people, right?

    The cake was from Namur. It was outrageously expensive but I have to say it may have been the best cake I've ever eaten. It was that good! It was some kind of white cake with chocolate mousse filling and some other vanilla cream. So good!!

  3. I enjoy your blog very much! I'm actually taking a french class right now, and I had to do a project which centered on "Poisson D'avril". Here's some history: In the 16th century, King Charles decided to move the new year from late march, to January 1st. Those who couldn't accept this change were known as "fools" and were the victims of pranks. Nowadays, people believe that the fish pranks were relevant, because a) The original new year was during the end of lent in which people at that time could only have fish and b) because January 1st (the new new year) was close to the zodiac sign, Pisces whose symbol is the fish. :) Have a nice day!

  4. Thank you for your comment and the history of the Poisson d'Avril. Very interesting!