chocolate fish poissons d'avril easter windows Paris

All Eyes on Chocolate Easter Windows in Paris

Somehow each year, Easter still takes me by surprise.  We’re not talking chocolate eggs in the Paris shop windows, we’re eyeing all the chocolate fish and friture that float around the vitrines in time for the 1st April. ‘Poisson d’avril!’ my youngest cries, as I feel a delicate pat on the back shoulder.  If you’re any decent April Fool in France, you’ll probably be sporting a school of colourful paper fish taped to your back.  Two years ago was my record: I was modelling a mobile primary school wall.

chocolate fish poissons d'avril easter windows Paris

These days, boulangeries find other inventive ways to display chocolate fish: what about in the shape of a brioche?

brioche fish tails dipped in chocolate

Fritures have always fascinated me.  They’re miniature sculpted fish and seafood in chocolate.  Why all this fish at this time of year?  Well, apparently it goes back to the 16th Century under Charles IX reign, who changed the New Year to the 1st January.  Until then in France, the New Year started around 1st April and was celebrated by fresh fish to bring in the Spring (following the zodiac sign of Pisces, perhaps).  As not everyone was au courant with this new calendar, jokes gradually poked their April fools and started the custom of pinning fish on their backs.

french friture chocolate fish and seafood

What a clever cookie, coming up with a chocolate cat?  He gets the fish, does he?

chocolate cat sculpture for Easter Paris

The cat has got the cream (egg?)

Meanwhile, each chocolate boutique of Patrick Roger displays his creative genius throughout Paris. Everything you see in the window is sculpted in Venezuelan chocolate – even the snails, but my favourite element are they eyes. Roger’s famous glistening bright green chocolate eye-resembling balls are what earned him MoF (Meilleur Ouvrier de France) status.

Patrick Roger Easter Chocolate Sculpture 2014 Paris

All eyes on the French frogs

As most chocolatiers piece two half egg shells together, Roger uses them instead as ears.

Patrick Roger's Easter Sculptures in Chocolate 2014

Spot the eyes?

True, the traditional eggs are still everywhere.  Many chocolatiers offer personalised versions; is it to avoid fighting over whoever it belongs to?  Personally, I’d just go for a giant nest egg.  This one has my name on it.

giant chocolate easter egg as hen's nest

Served with a hen teapot, of course. Ideal, as I feel a right maman poule these days, looking after my teenagers!

easter egg window with hen teapot

There are not many Easter bunnies in the shop windows.  We normally have the Easter bunnies but in France, it’s the bells from the Vatican that distribute the chocolate.  I’ve never quite got my little head around that one. Neither have my kids. If anyone can explain, I’m all ears.

easter bunny shop windows

The choice is huge.  Where would you start?

Eric Kayser baker shop boulangerie in Paris

Hens, turtles, ducks, bunnies, fish, bells, bears, chicks, cats and sheep.  Whatever next?

collage of different easter egg chocolate sculptures

More easter egg ears and googley eyes at Pascal le Gac in St Germain-en-Laye.

easter chocolate eggs and figurines in French windows

Rather not count your chocolate chicks before they hatch, though?

chocolate hen in paris window

While I’m waiting for Easter next week, I’ll just chew on a few macarons with some chocolate pioupious.

Macaron tower for Easter by Eric Kayser

Here’s sone chocolate macarons I made earlier for those who haven’t seen it (posts get lost on Facebook these days!) with mendiant Easter bonnets.

Our Easter bunny is well trained this year.  All because the lady loves…. chocolate macarons.

easter bunny with chocolate eggs and macarons in the garden

What tickles your fancy this Easter?


Happy Easter!  Joyeuses Paques! 

6 replies
  1. Parisbreakfast
    Parisbreakfast says:

    PEEPS! You’ve found peeps? In Scotland?
    Where are the eyeson the oject P roger?
    The flying bells go to the vatican for a blessing and come back to spead joy (and friture) or something like that. ducasse has a nice chocolate bell under a bell jar.

  2. Jamie
    Jamie says:

    What fun! I do love wandering from chocolate shop to pastry shop around Nantes checking out (and drooling over) the fabulous Easter treats, each more amazing than the next but obviously you in Paris have so much more to see! I want one of each but get… none. I LOVE your Easter Mendiant Macarons!!!

  3. June S
    June S says:

    Love all your pictures. Suddenly I need chocolate! Can’t wait to see all these shop windows. I love April in Paris. Glad I won’t have to go around with a fish on my back though.

  4. Liz
    Liz says:

    You’ve reminded me that I need to buy some treats for my children. Even though they are grown, they still expect a few chocolate goodies 🙂 And I had to giggle when remembering your April Fool’s posts from the past…I would be walking around with all sorts of fish on my back…completely unaware!!! xo

  5. Ann
    Ann says:

    I don’t even have a sweet tooth, but I miss French Easter candy something crazy. Especially those delicious little oeufs pralinés… I hope the bunny brings some in your basket! Thanks for a fun post!



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