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So you ask what an earth is a ‘Galette de Roi’?

I had no idea either until a friend (who I’d invited for dinner) asked if she could bring dessert. I thanked her of course, and that’s when she said she’d bring a ‘Galette de Roi’

I asked her exactly what was a ‘Galette de Roi’ to which she replied in utter astonishment. “You’ve never had a Galette de Roi?” I answered for both Larry and I that no neither of us had ever had or even heard of such a dessert.

She was shocked! (I told her Canadians don’t get out much) ha ha.

Well, a ‘Galette de Roi’is a type of cake that’s baked and only appears for Epiphany. If you’re not religious than you may not know what Epiphany is, because we don’t officially celebrate it in Canada.

However, in many parts of the world it’s a formally recognized statuatory holiday.

January 6, which is 12 days after Christmas in the Gregorian calendar, marks not only the end of the Christmas holidays but also the start of the Carnival season, which climaxes with Mardi Gras.

Mardi Gras in Venice, Italy.

Mardi Gras in Venice, Italy.

In some European countries, such as the Czech Republic and Slovakia, children dress as the three kings and visit houses. In their roles as the kings, or wise men, they sing about the Jesus’ birth and pay homage to the “king of kings”. They are rewarded with praise and cookies.

dreikoenige

Epiphany2014

In France Le Jour des Rois (the Day of Kings), sometimes called the Fête des Rois, is celebrated with parties for children and adults. The galette des rois, or “cake of kings”, highlights these celebrations. This cake is round and flat, cut into the pantry, covered with a white napkin and carried into a dining room.

Epiphany is commonly known as Twelfth Night, Twelfth Day, Three Kings’ Day, or the Feast of Epiphany. It means “manifestation” or “showing forth”. It is also called Theophany (“manifestation of God”), especially by Eastern Christians. Epiphany refers not only to the day itself but to the church season that follows it – a season that has a varied length because it ends when Lent begins, and this depends on the date of Easter.

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The Russians dive into icy water to celebrate Epiphany.

It commemorates the first two occasions on which Jesus’ divinity, according to Christian belief, was manifested: when the three kings (also known as wise men or Magi) visited infant Jesus in Bethlehem, and when John the Baptist baptized him in the River Jordan. The Roman Catholic and Protestant churches emphasize the visit of the Magi when they celebrate the Epiphany. The Eastern Orthodox churches focus on Jesus’ baptism.

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Epiphany is one of the oldest Christian feasts. It was celebrated since
the end of the second century, before the Christmas holiday was established. Like other Christian seasons, the church appropriated Epiphany from an old pagan festival. As early as 1996 BCE, the Egyptians celebrated the winter solstice (which then occurred on January 6) with a tribute to Aeon, the Virgin. It is important to note that the holiday was established prior to the Gregorian calendar’s introduction.

Well after all of that, here is the cake!

These delicious cakes appear everywhere throughout France and usually include the paper crown shown in the photo. they are layers of pastry with a center of almond paste or marzipan. I've had two presented to me after a dinner where the hostess did not want to keep it for the fact that it is seriously high in calories.

These delicious cakes appear everywhere throughout France and usually include the paper crown shown in the photo. They’re made of layers of puff pastry with a center of almond paste or marzipan. I’ve had two presented to me after a dinner where the hostess did not want to keep it for the fact that it is seriously high in calories. (As if I needed the calories)

Former French President Sarkozy cutting into a Galette du President!

Former French President Sarkozy cutting into a Galette du President!

So there you have it. If you ever see one of these lovely cakes do indulge. They are absolutely delicious!

A bientot

Mark

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