Practising Creativity

Celebrating Epiphany in France – La Galette des Rois

Clockwise: fèvesCouronne des Rois, Galette Parisienne (gluten free)

Although religious in origin symbolizing the arrival of the three kings, Épiphanie in France is most often associated with the arrival of its famous galettes. You'll find regional types of galettes across France, but  the most common is the Parisienne, a flaky puffed pastry cake with almond filling. There are also gâteau des rois and couronne des rois that are made with brioche dough (a type of sweet bread). What all galette/gateau/couronne have in common is a little fève tucked into the cake and the paper crown that accompanies them. Whoever finds the fève in their slice, then gets to wear the crown and is the king/queen for the day.

Although Épiphanie is Christian in origin, the galette et al. is not. As do many of our Holiday traditions, the galette dates back to the Roman feast of Saturnalia, celebrating the winter solstice and Saturn, the god of agriculture. During the feast, the roles of master and slave were reversed. To choose the Prince of Saturnalia, a coin, fava bean, or other small object was placed in a cake and whoever got  the coin was Prince for the day.

For our Épiphanie last Sunday, we had a traditional type galette (howbeit gluten free) for me, and a couronne for my husband. I prefer the traditional type and was so pleased to find a gluten free one this year. I tried to convince my husband to have the galette with me, but he insisted on a brioche one, which he slathers in confiture (jam). My personal opinion is that he needs the confiture because the brioche is tasteless. The good thing about this though, is that I did get two fèves this year to add to my collection. The round one was in my organic gluten free galette and the other in the tasteless brioche couronne.

To see stunning galette works of art, check out Elle magazine's slideshow: Les plus belles galettes des rois 2021.

2 comments

  1. Another wonderful, informative post! Keep 'em coming - I love them!

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    Replies
    1. I'm so glad you like these posts, Miss Jan! And thanks for leaving a comment. I know I'm not talking into a void that way.

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