January 6 marks the Feast of the Epiphany. Like all feast days in France, Epiphany is associated with food, in this case galette des rois (galet day rwa), or Kings’ Cake. Here’s the description that I found on the table at Le Pain Quotidien:
“The Kings’ Cake … is believed to have originated in France in the 12th century. Early Europeans celebrated the visit of the Three Kings to the Christ Child twelve days after Christmas, calling it the Feast of Epiphany. In these early Kings’ Cakes, a bean, pea, or coin was hidden inside the cake. The person who found the hidden piece was declared King for the day or was said to have good luck in the coming year.
Our Kings’ Cake is made of puff pastry and filled with frangipane, an almond-flavored paste. Eating the galette at the beginning of January is still a popular tradition and an opportunity for families and friends to gather around the table. The person who finds the token in their slice of galette becomes the King or Queen and is given a golden, paper crown. The King or Queen then chooses his Queen or her King for the evening from among the other guests.”
The recipe for galette des rois varies as widely as the rich culture of France. The one from Paul in the photo above is filled with chocolate and pear. (Yum!) Here’s a recipe from a French-based food blogger, along with her experience of making her first galette des rois.
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