Joyeux Poisson d’Avril!
Oh, it’s April 2nd. April Fools?
You must forgive Trev’s Bistro for being a day late to the table because your’s truly was in transit and spent much of the day in a lovely airport and airplane(s).
Do we in the United States have any annual April Fools dining traditions? I often spend it making a certain chocolate cake for a certain somebody’s birthday that happens to be on the same day. That’s not an April Fools joke. Just good timing.
When I lived in Paris a few years ago, I remember the importance of fish with the day. No, not a certain John Dory filet with beurre blanc or saumon fumé that every family served for the occasion. April Fools Day is called “Poisson d’Avril” in France, also known as “The Fish of April.” Young students and flirtatious couples across France slap paper fish onto the backs of people and shout, “Poisson d’Avril.”
How fish became such a fixture on April Fools Day in France I have no idea. It’s a fun, whimsical way to celebrate the silliest of holidays, a skill not often associated with French culture.
When spending the holiday in Paris with lots of fish taped to my back, I researched potential traditional April 1st recipes in the countries and found nothing. It’s a special day for the kids, not the cooks. Besides, everyone was freezing as in early spring in France, so a boeuf bourguignon sounded much more tempting than tuna Provençal style.
Yet, I found this quirky sweet and savory cookie that perfectly fits the holiday. Sardines and brown sugar in a shortbread- like cookie dough, then a layer of frosting, and cut into fish shapes. I can’t vouch for the taste. If you love sardines and cookies like myself, how can it not be great? Pourquoi pas?
That’s no April Fools joke, either.