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Gaga over galettes des rois

I am, as the French would say, accro.

Hook, line and sinker. This is what I look forward to in grey and dreary January in France. My little slice of sunshine and happiness. It is not les soldes, but that flaky puff pastry with frangipane filling (or other delicious almond-based fillings) called galette des rois.

Galettes des rois

Frédéric thus summed it on his FB:

Définition du mois de janvier pour Lilian : une galette des rois chaque jour.
J’ai tenté de la convaincre qu’il n’existe aucune loi qui nous oblige à en manger tous les jours, mais sans succès…

(Definition of the month of January for Lilian: a galette des rois per day. I tried to convince her that there isn’t a law dictating the obligation to eat one daily, but without success…)

What is galette des rois?

For those unfamiliar with galette des rois, this is a pastry celebrating the Epiphany (6 January). According to (religious) tradition, this symbolises the drawing of the three kings/magi to Epiphany and the visitation of these wise men to Baby Jesus.

Galettes des rois

As I mentioned earlier, the galette des rois is made of puff pastry filled with frangipane. Normally, hidden within is a small favour known as fève, traditionally a bean (hence the name) but today in the form of small decorative china (or plastic!) that can be anything from a bean to a flower to a popular cartoon character. Whoever “won” this favour – by getting the slice of galette des rois containing the fève – would be crowned king/queen of the day. Yes, yes, one even gets a paper crown to show off in.

Moreover, accordingly, the king/queen is in charge of supplying the next galette des rois. This is, of course, the part I like best! Doesn’t this sort of dictates an (unspoken) obligation for a galette des rois each day? Someone wins a favour, buy the next, and the circle goes on and on until the production of galette des rois stops just before the start of Lent. ;)

There are also companies/organisations which organise an annual, once-off get-together for all staff members (or within individual departments/groups) for a drink and sharing of galettes des rois to kick off the new year on convivial tone. I am 101% behind this initiative!

Guess what is happening at work next Monday? :p

Indulgence so far…

I admit it, since the twelth day of Christmas, I’ve had had my fair share of galette des rois. Nearly daily, come to think of it… But really, I am not that big a glutton (← this woman is in denial) and I have keep the eating in check. I usually buy galette des rois that comes in individual portion size, and not the big ones meant for sharing. Even then, I shared each of them with Frédéric. Downside – no fève to win, no one is king/queen of the day.

Galettes des rois

So far, we’ve tried those from a couple of local boulangeries (not bad but nothing special – we still haven’t yet found a hidden gem that surprises us, darn!), a couple different ones from Eric Kayser (traditional frangipane, and apple), and a couple from Pierre Hermé (traditional frangipane, and fancy marrons glacés with Muscavado sugar).

We adooooooore the wintry chestnut creation from Pierre Hermé! This one actually doesn’t come in individual portion size at all. We bought a medium sized one (for 3/4 persons) to share with my in-laws who are in town and were invited over for dinner. Moreover, we were also celebrating my beau-père’s birthday, so I had the perfect combination of excuses to get such a fancy galette des rois. ;)

This is only a mere week in since my first galette des rois for this year, and already we’re off on a good start. There are a few more weeks to come, which means more tasting, and I have a feeling this is going to be epic in proportion. I should probably learn to make my own at home before we bust our food budget for the month because I go buying-happy with a few more fancy galettes des rois. There are certainly no shortage of options in Paris!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Category: Food & Drink, Ma vie en France

Tagged: , , , , ,

6 scribbles & notes

  1. Sarah says:

    Ah, in Paris you don’t also have the “brioch”-type galette des rois? It comes in the form of a large ring, is covered with large pieces of crystallised sugar and candied peel. I like to alternate between the two types: it prevents galette-fatigue! ;) (Also, it’s nice with breakfast, easier to dip in coffee or tea!)

    • Lil says:

      I’ve seen those but only in supermarkets (e.g. Monoprix – cf first picture above, hidden in the bottom right-ish corner) but admittedly I haven’t been round everywhere to check. I believe those are pretty much southern France thing, so a little less common in Paris.

      Hehehe… not sure I’ll get galette-fatigue yet ;)

  2. med says:

    hooohooo…lookssss very sweet and yummy!!! ;)

  3. Chloé says:

    Totally behind Sarah: I do know galette-fatigue and alternating is very helpful!
    Every year it gets easier and easier to find “royaumes” (brioche-type galettes) in Paris. But it’s still much less frequent than the puff-pastry-type. And in Paris if a boulangerie has the brioche-type, they would usually also have the puff-pastry-type (I’ve never seen the other way around, yet?).

    • Lil says:

      I’m glad to declare – no galette-fatigue (yet). Maybe it’s because I’ve been reasonable this week. I’ve tried one with walnut earlier this week and now I’ll be testing one with pink grapefruit and clementine!

      And oh, Pain de Sucre has their own brioche-type but must be pre-ordered.

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