Galette Des Rois (French King Cake)

The events in the United States Capitol on January 6th, the 2021st anniversary of Epiphany, have me feeling downhearted so I decided to write about a very light-hearted topic also related to January 6th …

It may be a few days late to eat a Galette Des Rois, but a lot of French people will eat this cake anytime during the month of January. Pasty shops or pâtisseries will bake these cakes all month long in France. Inside the pastry is a delicious almond cream filling and a fève or ceramic figurine. Whomever finds the the fève, which directly translates to bean, in their slice of cake wears a paper crown and is king for the day. If you’d like to read more about the history of how this cake came to be, I really enjoyed this article in France-Amérique.

Here in the United States, it’s a little harder to find an authentic Galette Des Rois and they are usually only available to order beginning the first Sunday of January through the end of the week. Although I have been told they are fairly easy to make, I’ve never attempted to make a French pastry of any kind. If you’d like to attempt making this cake yourself, I’m particularly fond of this American’s French recipes. For anyone living in the Chicago area, my two favorite French bakeries / pâtisseries thus far are: La Boulangerie and La Fournette. Maybe they will still have cakes available for pickup this weekend?

I love learning and participating in French history, culture, and traditions. I encourage my son to do the same because I find it really important to teach him about his heritage. Reading and writing about traditions such as Galette Des Rois are great for us. But I just need to work on my baking and French language skills. Hopefully soon I will become a French citizen, I’m eligible to apply once I can pass a language and civics exam!

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