The true origins of April Fool’s Day are unknown, but for possibly hundreds of years April 1st has been a day for harmless pranks, practical jokes and hoaxes, often revealed by shouting “April fool!” at the recipient. Mass media have often carried reports and stories that turn out to be elaborate hoaxes, although sometimes it feels as though it has become almost impossible to tell fact from fiction!
Looking at the many lists of best April fools day hoaxes over the years, one in particular features close to the top of every list and has a special link to Switzerland. On April 1, 1957 the British news show “Panorama” broadcast a three-minute segment about a bumper spaghetti harvest in Ticino. The success of the crop was attributed both to an unusually mild winter and to the “virtual disappearance of the spaghetti weevil.” The audience heard Richard Dimbleby, the show’s highly respected anchor, discussing the details of the spaghetti crop as they watched video footage of a Swiss family pulling pasta off spaghetti trees and placing it into baskets. The segment concluded with the assurance that, “For those who love this dish, there’s nothing like real, home-grown spaghetti.” Click here to watch the video.
The Swiss Spaghetti Harvest hoax generated an enormous response. Hundreds of people phoned the BBC wanting to know how they could grow their own spaghetti tree. To this query the BBC diplomatically replied, “Place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best.” To this day the “Panorama” broadcast remains one of the most famous and popular April Fool’s Day hoaxes of all time. It is also believed to be the first time the medium of television was used to stage an April Fool’s Day hoax. You can read more about the Swiss Spaghetti Harvest hoax by clicking here.
Meanwhile, in other news, I have received couple of picture entries for our “virtual Hot Cross Bun Bake-off” competition. Do send me photos of your bakes (click here). The winner will be announced on Easter Saturday and will be able to choose a trip to a destination of their choice from the following list;
• Las Kitchenas
• Los Lounges
• Santa Bedrooms
• Porto Gardenas
• Los Bed
• Costa Del Balconica
• St Bathroom
• La Rotinda De Sofa