|Galette des Rois ©mairie-margencel.fr|
It is a tradition in France to eat the cake on the 6th January, the day of the Epiphany (Fête des Rois) but they can be found in bakeries as early as December. Some French eat them as dessert during the traditional dinners called Réveillon de Noel (Christmas Eve's dinner) and Réveillon de Saint Sylvestre (New Year's Eve dinner).
"La fête des Rois" is a way the French people celebrate the visit of the Magi to baby Jesus. You remember the Three Wise Men in the Bible? The three Kings who visited Jesus after his birth, bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh? Well, the 6th of January is a day chosen to celebrate these Kings. According to Wikipedia, the Eve of Epiphany (the night of January 5) is popularly known as Twelfth Night. The Twelve Days of Christmas are counted from Christmas Eve until this night.
In the 16th century in Paris, there was a conflict between the French boulangeries and pâtisseries about who has the sole rights to sell the Kings Cake. The pâtisseries won, but not completely because the boulangeries, although forbidden to bake Kings Cake, decided to bake Kings Pies. This is why today, there are two kinds of Kings Cakes in France.
Today, you can find the two types of Kings Cake. They are both called "galette des rois" and can be found at the French boulangeries and pâtisseries, and also all over France, North or South.
Kings Cake :
A round brioche in the shape of a hollow circle, decorated with coloured candied fruits. This common in the South of France.
|Kings Cake ©Wikipedia|
Kings Pie :
A puff pastry pie filled with almond cream, common in the North of France.
|Kings Pie ©Hub Santé|
|Kings Cake Baby Jesus Figurine ©Wikipedia|
|Fèves ©France in London|
After the cake is cut out, a child is chosen to sit under the table and call out names of those present and each one will be handed a slice. Whoever gets the slice with the fève becomes the King or Queen for a day and wears the paper golden crown which is supplied with the cake.
|Crown ©Association ARC EN CIEL|
|Ayo Deforge ©franconaija.blogspot.fr|
On the 7th january 2014, François Hollande and Valérie Trierweiler cut a 1.5 diameter "galette des rois" to celebrate Epiphany at the Champs Elysée.
|François Hollande and Valérie Trierweiler cutting a giant galette des rois ©Grazia|