The April Fish

Happy April Fools’ Day! Are you eating chocolate fish today? Did your local newspaper publish a few nonsense articles this morning? Have you put a paper fish on someone’s back? If you’ve answered yes to all of these questions, you may be living in French-speaking Switzerland (or France, for that matter).

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Poisson d’avril

In Suisse romande, April Fools’ Day is known as Poisson d’avril (April Fish). There are many theories for why this name developed, but the tradition of playing practical jokes on friends and family remains the same, as in other parts of the world. Long ago, people would apparently give fake fish as gifts on this day as a joke. Today, the tradition continues with beautiful chocolate fish displayed in store windows.

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Poisson d’avril display at the Musée d’horlogerie du Locle

Similar to giving fake fish, another unique tradition here and in France involves people secretly affixing paper fish to people’s backs. Whoever wears the paper fish is the Poisson d’avril. I’ve been talking about this tradition with my 6-year old, so I’m expecting a surprise paper fish from him at some point today.

To make sure a certain 2-year old can participate in Poisson d’avril, I bought a silicone mold with small springtime shapes, including a few little fish amongst the bunnies and Easter eggs. I melted some Divvies chocolate and added some grated coconut, poured it into the molds, and voila! Delicious little chocolate fish that our family can share together.

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I hope you enjoy your April Fools’ Day or Poisson d’avril. Be wary though, pranksters will be lurking everywhere today!

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4 thoughts on “The April Fish

  1. Sandy Shaw says:

    Hi Heddi, That’s a beautiful little fish you made! I did not know about this tradition but it sounds like a great idea and lots of fun! I can just imagine Augustus sneaking up on you today too! Happy April Fools Day to all of you! XoSandra

    Sent from my iPhone

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    • H. Elise says:

      Thanks, Sandra! We didn’t know about the tradition last year, but it was very popular in A’s classroom today. We had the fish for our lunchtime dessert. Beautiful spring day here, hope it’s the same there too!? Heddi xoxo

    • H. Elise says:

      Hello Ines! Thank you for visiting my blog and for your thoughtful advice. I’ve been to the Larada site before, but usually the options I’ve seen contains nuts or traces of nuts. Today when I visited though, I found some new chocolates that may work for us. I’ll contact the company to double-check, but looks like I’ll be placing an order soon. I really appreciate your suggestion. Many thanks, Heddi

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