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The tradition of the "galette des Rois"

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The tradition of the "galette des Rois" Empty The tradition of the "galette des Rois"

Message  MicD Dim 7 Jan - 17:18

The tradition of the Galette des Rois


The first mentions of a shared pancake, with a hidden bean, date back to Roman times.  Great festivals in honor of Saturn, the Roman god of weather, took place between late December and early January, around the time of the winter solstice.  During these festivals called Saturnalia, the Romans drew lots for a person by sharing a cake.  The one who landed on the bean in the cake became “Prince of Saturnalia” and had the right to obtain everything he wanted for a day.  The lucky person favored by fate could even be a slave.

This celebration was therefore an opportunity to abolish all social barriers.

The bean was one of the symbols of the winter solstice because it is the first vegetable to grow in spring.

Then this custom was taken up by the church, the Roman festival becoming a religious festival in honor of the Three Wise Men.  The symbol being that the messiah has arrived for all, including the pagans.

In the Middle Ages, the bean was replaced by a porcelain piece to avoid cheating.  In the 19th century, the bean became a figurine representing the child Jesus.

Nowadays, the tradition is more commercial than religious.

In the majority of France, the galette des Rois is made from puff pastry.

The frangipane that garnishes it is made up of 2/3 almond cream and 1/3 pastry cream.  It owes its name to Count Cesare Frangipani, who is said to have offered the recipe to Catherine de Medici as a wedding gift during her nuptials to the future Henry II.

But each region has its own recipe.  In the south of France, for example, it is a brioche cake in the shape of a crown and garnished with candied fruit.

And in your region, what is the galette des Rois like?
MicD
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The tradition of the "galette des Rois" Empty Re: The tradition of the "galette des Rois"

Message  MurielB Dim 7 Jan - 23:41

Thank you so much Mic for sharing this tradition I didn't know. I'm glad that slaves were also invited and could become king of the day. We are so attached to the principle of equality. The galette des rois, which has gone beyond its religious significance, is now for us an occasion to get together with family and friends. When our grand children are with us at that time of the year, they are delighted to get the bean and become king or queen of the day. It does them a lot of good. It's strange, they're always the ones who are king or queen and they love bossing their grandparents around.

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MurielB
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