THE GALETTE DES ROIS
by Chené Koscielny
Just when you thought the festive feasting and over-indulging was over and done with – along comes the traditional Galette des Rois. So hold off on the diet resolution a little longer – this is a tradition worth celebrating!
You’ll find Galettes des Rois popping up in supermarkets and boulangeries, but what’s the story behind them?
WHAT IS A GALETTE DES ROIS?
A frangipane tart made with puff pastry, ground almonds, butter, sugar and eggs – although there are many variations of filling nowadays such as Nutella, caramelised apple, apple and raspberry or jam filled. An alternative to the Galette des Rois is the Couronne des Rois, a circular shaped enriched dough (brioche) studded with dried fruits and nuts and often topped with candied dried fruit.
The galette contains a single ‘féve’ – originally a broad bean, but more recently this has taken the form of a little charm – made of porcelain and hidden in the galette. A golden crown made of cardboard also comes with the galette.
HOW IS THE GALETTE TRADITIONALLY EATEN?
Served with either cider or champagne (for the adults of course), the galette is cut into portions and the youngest of the group gets to hide under the table and tell the person who is serving who should be served the next portion. If you are lucky enough to find the ‘féve’ in your portion of galette, you get to wear the golden crown and be a King for the day!
WHAT IS THE STORY BEHIND THE GALETTE?
The tradition of eating a galette dates back to between the 13th and 14th centuries and marks the feast of Epiphany – the twelfth day of Christmas and officially the end to the festive season for many Christians. Epiphany marks the visit of the three Kings (the Three Wise Men), who gave gifts to the baby Jesus.
The galette is eaten on the 6th January, but you’ll find galettes on sale for most of January.
HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN GALETTE DES ROIS
A Galette des Rois is relatively easy to make yourself. Caro Blackwell from Taste of Savoie recently posted a recipe for making your own delicious galette des rois. Caro followed David Lebovitz recipe because he included orange and rum.
Click here for the recipe.