Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Poisson d'Avril

I like to laugh but I’m not a huge prankster. Thus, my interest in April Fool’s Day has always been minimal.

To the French, April 1 is “Poisson d’Avril.” The idea is generally the same as April Fool’s—to play practical jokes on others—but they do so by attaching fish to unsuspecting others’ backs (á la a “kick me” sign).

But what really interests me about the French interpretation of the “holiday” are the chocolates everyone gets to celebrate. You can find dime store bags of molded fish, clams, seahorses and the like—either in milk, dark or white chocolate. But the top-notch chocolatiers also get in on the fantasy and fun.

Indeed, these are Patrick Roger’s molded chocolates.

And here are some beauties from Jean-Paul Hevin. You’ll notice this “poisson de bon thon” is 28 euros—a $37 chocolate fish.

Your neighborhood patisseries offer less expensive treats. They just don’t have same omigod factor as the masters.

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