King for a Day: The Galette des Rois in January

King for a Day: The Galette des Rois in January

As soon as the bûche de Noël disappears from French bakeries, another holiday sweet, the galette des rois (kings’ cake) takes its place. Named for the Three Magi, the galette traditionally appears before the feast of the Epiphany on January 6 and can be found in French bakeries for several weeks.

A delicious round of golden-brown puff pastry, it’s filled with an almond cream called frangipane and contains, somewhere inside, a fève, or bean. Originally a real bean, the fève can now be anything from a plastic trinket to a tiny ceramic figure or even a gold charm.

The galette is meant to be shared with family, friends or colleagues at work. Bakeries carry them in various sizes starting with small individual pastries; large galettes come complete with a gold paper crown, to be worn by the lucky person whose slice contains the fève—the king or queen for a day.

Pictured here: The magnificent galettes des roi created by Gérard Mulot in Paris.

From the France Today archives

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