Did you know that today is of great significance to many French people. It is Friday 6th January. Today is the day you may (or may not) eat a piece of a Galette des Rois.
You may have seen many pastry cakes sporting a crown in your local Boulangerie and supermarkets recently. This pastry tart is called a ‘Galette des Rois’ (King’s Cake) and is a time honoured tradition in France, that takes place on the 6th January, to mark Epiphany – a Christian festival. The tradition of eating the galette has been dated back to the 14th century!
This frangipane tart is made with pastry, butter, ground almonds and can contain other ingredients such as apples. This is meant to be eaten warm but you can eat it cold if you so wish. You can also buy a brioche version if the traditional version is not your cup of tea.
You cut the pastry tart into pieces – the number is determined by how many people are joining in. The youngest child (or adult!) has to hide under the table and tell whoever is cutting the cake who should get which piece.
Now be careful when you cut the tart as sometimes the charm can poke out (or cut it with no one watching). This charm is called a féve and does not come in any wrapping and is very hard – so watch out for your teeth and/or choking!
The person that finds the bone China charm in their slice is King or Queen for the day and can wear the paper crown. They can also name their King or Queen and by all accounts can ‘boss’ other family members for the rest of the day.
Many people collect these and you will often see collections of these little féve’s at Vide Grenier’s (car boot sales).
One year a boulangerie was selling their Galette Des Rois with a féve of Johnny Hallyday figurines. Now deceased, this singer was a national treasure and well loved by many.
Originally the little féve’s represented the nativity but now there are many different versions of the Galette des Rois, for example, in our local Carrefour they were selling them with Star Wars féves.
I hope you have found this interesting and enjoy your Galette des Rois!