La galette des rois ( The Kings’ cake/ cake of the Kings) is traditionally served on January 6th, a Christian holy day called the Epiphany/ L’Épiphanie. This was the date when the 3 wise men were thought to have visited Jesus.
In France, the tradition of serving this puff pastry and almond cream tart can be traced back to the 14th century.
According to French tradition, a small charm (la fève) is baked inside the cake and whoever receives the little favour is then crowned king or queen for the day.
As part of their French lesson, our sixth class girls baked a chocolate cake on Friday 12th January (we took the liberty of modifying the recipe as we felt that puff pastry was a bit ambitious for us!)
Following the tradition, the youngest child in the class, Betsy, closed her eyes and decided who got each slice. The person serving asked ” C’est pour qui celle-la?” ( For whom is this slice) and Betsy had to answer “C’est pour……” ( It’s for…..). She did a great job of remembering everyone’s name with her eyes closed!
Another tradition asks that you cut the pie according to the number of guest plus one. The extra slice is known as ” La part du Bon Dieu” God’s slice) or ” la part du pauvre” (the poor man’s slice. We gave Ms. Tiernan the extra slice!)
Abilily was the lucky girl who found ” la fève” in her slice of cake. She had to shout, ” J’ai la fève” ( I have the charm) and then she came forward and was crowned “la reine” ( the queen). She then picked Ella to be the king. Everybody then had to shout ” Vive la reine, Vive le roi” ( Long live the queen and king!) before tucking into their cake!
Category: Language Events