Sunday, January 07, 2007

Fête Des Rois

Yesterday, January 6, was the Catholic observance of the Epiphany here in France - and probably in other Catholic/Christian places as well. For most French people, it means that you go to the bakery and get a galette des rois (cake of the kings) that's made with pâte feuilletée (puff pastry) and commonly has frangipane (almond paste) inside.

The "kings" part refers to the legend of the three kings of orient who followed a star to Bethlehem with gifts for a newborn; the original baby shower.

This is the bag our galette came in today. It says, "Celebrate the Epiphany" and "Collect our superb fèves."

It's sold with a paper crown, and inside the cake is baked what's called a fève (bean) that originally was an actual bean but is now usually a small ceramic toy. Whoever gets the piece of cake with the fève inside is king and gets to wear the crown.

Our galette and the gold paper crown that came with it.

Ken and I actually cheated and had a galette last week. He got the fève - a cartoon character we don't know. We had another today and I got the fève - a small ceramic fish. I'm sure we'll have at least a couple more in the next week or so because galettes des rois are made and sold pretty much all month long. In fact, the woman at the bakery gave out little cards that she stamps for each galette you buy there. After you've bought four, your fifth one is free !


  1. Just wanted to compare notes! In the south of France, our King Cakes are more like a sweet bun consistency, with rock sugar and sliced dried glazed fruit on top, with chunks of the same fruit inside. We really do get the beans, and also a little ceramic figure. We'll also probably buy more than one this month, because the kids fight to find the toys and be crowned king or queen for a day!

  2. The bread lady told me this morning that if you are the one who gets the fève or bean or little ceramic prize, you are supposed to pay for the galette. That turns a prize into a penalty!

  3. Since you speak French :)

    La pâte feuilletée de chez Herta fera l'affaire ! (attention, la galette sera énorme :D)


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