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