National Sourdough Bread Day
If you don’t expect bread to taste sour on April 1, the joke will be on you. Sourdough bread dates back the Egyptians and references to it are found in recipe books from the 17th century. This food holiday without an identifiable origin may be national, but the actual flavors in sourdough are regional. The sour flavor in these loaves comes from bacteria and wild yeast. Because different microorganisms differ by location, according to “The Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink” (2007, Oxford University Press), sourdough breads baked in San Francisco won’t taste the same as those baked in New York.
True sourdough bread was not always the loaf of choice in the U.S. It was not until the late 20th century when artisan style breads became popular did Americans truly start to appreciate the sourness found in sourdough bread. Bake up some sourdough bread or buy a loaf for your favorite sandwich.
April Fools’ Day
If you forget about this popular holiday, someone will be sure to remind you. A rich history surrounds April 1. By some accounts, the day dates back to the Roman festival of Cerealia held at the beginning of April, when Ceres went looking for her daughter, Prosperpina, who was taken to the underground, screaming. Her mom tried to follow the echoes of her daughter’s screams, but the task was considered a “fool’s errand” because she could not locate the echoing voice.
The connection of the April 1 deepens the holiday’s connections to the Spring Equinox, and as a celebration of the changing of the seasons from a cold and stark winter to a more green and carefree season — spring.
The feast of fools has origins in Medieval monasteries, as they would send people on frivolous errands or give them ridiculous tasks, allowing them to be called an “April Fool.”
Another piece of folklore says the fool’s holiday was attached to April 1 back in 1564 in France, when the New Year’s holiday was moved from April 1 to January 1. Some stubborn folks continued to celebrate the new year on April 1 rather than accept the change. Everyone else took it upon themselves to play tricks on these people who clung to the old New Year’s date of April 1.
Fun at Work Day
Thank Playfair for Fun at Work Day. The holiday encourages a playful attitude at work today and they claim increase productivity and morale. Feel free to tell your boss that when she finds you growing your Mafia or trying for the high score in Bejeweled Blitz. If you want to celebrate, plan a fun group activity at work, including an extended lunch break with a dessert bar or a fun team-building activity outdoors, weather permitting.