Thursday, January 06, 2005

Galette Des Rois

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me.... a galette des rois. Actually, I had to buy it myself, but that's ok.

The Galette des Rois is a French dessert traditionally served on the day of Epiphany. It is a puff pastry filled with an almond cream called frangipane, and a small china figurine called la fève. Originally, a dry bean, which is fève in French, was used. The fève/figurine is baked into the cake, and the person who finds it in his or her slice becomes King or Queen for the day.

We'll have ours after dinner tonight and I'm going to guarantee our cake comes with two fèves (it's best to keep an old one on hand to stuff in the piece of the child who hasn't been cut the lucky slice -- take my advice).

For those of you in Paris, you can buy a "kit" at Casino or Franprix and make one at home. The kit comes with a fève and a crown. I brought them to the US on my last trip and they were a big hit.... a little bit of French culture to share and eat with the family. Also, my friend told me this morning that you can buy extra, interesting fèves at E.Dehillerin... just in case you have more than a King or Queen in your home :)

Galette des Rois waiting to crown a King or Queen.

-- said Auntie M in Paris
1:31 PM



What a fun tradition!

# posted by Margie : 3:02 PM  

I enjoyed your writing of today re: the galette. My son's school (bilingual French) had all the lower school kids leaving school with their "crowns". I thought hmmm it's that day again. The older kids (mine) apparently don't do it (celebrating)for some reason.

You are a very astute mom to "accidently" place another la feve in the cake - and you can have a king and a queen in the home today!

Keep up the wonderful!! writing - I bookmark your links for a future trip or to pass along. ( You really ought to start that book.....)

# posted by Anonymous : 3:37 PM  

mmm galette des rois.


# posted by Anonymous : 4:59 PM  

I am so envious that you and your family live in Paris. I have visited several times and lived in Chateauroux as a child when my dad was in the US Air Force. In my dreams, I live just as you describe in your writings.

# posted by Sheila Witherington : 6:42 PM  

Margie and Maryse, The galettes are simple but really delicious. I actually found a chocolate one today from one of my favorite bakeries across town.
DOF, I do feel very fortunate to be here and enjoy the things I get to do....
Anonymous, Thank you for the nice note. No one wore crowns at our school. I saw some kids walking down the street with crowns on and they looked so cute!

# posted by Auntie M in Paris : 10:03 PM  

*clapping hands and jumping about like a 4 year-old*

My favorite, favorite day in the French Christams season! Thanks for your post. *sigh*

Speaking of books-- have you read "Almost French"? I am reading that now and totally enjoying it. I actually was thinking about your post where you said no matter how many playdates you offered the other French mothers never reciprocated--- in the book she (an Australian who is with French man in Paris) talks about how French women never want to be friends with other women . . not like girlfriends in other countries, anyway. I'm sure you've already seen this book but if not-- it's a goodie. ~bluepoppy

# posted by Anonymous : 10:14 PM  

Bluepoppy, I actually try to read most books written in English about the French, not all, but many. I really didn't like Almost French (who by the way is living on some South Pacific island now, I'm told). She sounded like a spoiled brat and I kept wondering why her husband kept her around! And why didn't she read up on France before she moved here?? She's a reporter, for goodness sake. Probably more info than you wanted...

# posted by Auntie M in Paris : 10:33 PM  

Yum, I've had that cake before. I always wondered if there are alot of dental visits after that day.
Speaking of books, I just picked up a book yesterday to read that made me think of you. It's called Paris to the Moon by Adam Gopnik. I haven't started it yet. If you want, when I'm done I could send it along.

# posted by BohemianMama : 4:15 AM  

I threw up after my last Galette de Roi, but normally I shovel them down like the Cookie Monster. So gooooooood.

btw, what was the business about a book where french women don't have girlfriends? Madness. As if frenchwoman where this incomprehensible tribe of sharpened nails, unbreakable polish and porcupine twills capes, ready to burn raid each others camps and eat foreigners for breakfast. I can't believe people like that get paid to write.

# posted by NARDAC : 4:18 PM  

BM, From Paris to the Moon was the first book I read when I arrived in Paris. Soon after, he came to a book signing at Brentano's which I attended. I thought he wrote a good book and there are many memorable quotes -- especially at the end when he paraphrases something his wife says... Paris is a beautiful but not fulfilling life and NY is a fulfilling but not a beautiful life. The only gripe I had with the book was that he seemed to be writing two books at once... the stories about his days with his son and the political stories. I liked his son stories a lot. Thank you for offering to pass on the book. I appreciate it since english-language books are so expensive over here.

# posted by Auntie M in Paris : 11:55 PM  

NARDAC, Those galettes are dangerously delicious!

# posted by Anonymous : 11:55 PM  

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