Galette des rois

This fluffy, deliciously, golden looking cake makes everyone happy. The first tradition of the New Year is la galette des rois and we, belgian people, are waiting for it with a huge smile on our face. Yes it’s delicious, but what makes it special is what’s buried inside. A tiny charm. Careful with your teeth because it can make some damages. 

We love this tradition because it gathers family together and we spend a great time with each other. Normally, one adult cut the cake in secret in the kitchen where no one can see. Then we bring the cake at the table and one innocent children go under the table and decide which slides goes to who, without seeing it. Then comes the time to eat. The person who gets the tiny charm becomes the king or the queen of the day and may choose his king or queen. 

Where is this tradition coming from? 

That’s a cute tradition you’ll say, but it goes way back, and before.. it wasn’t as charming. 

We traced this tradition of picking up kings back to Antiquity. In those ancient times, during the festivities consecrated to Saturn. Romans used to pick up king between their slaves. During one day this slave would have the luck to live like a master. Luck? Well.. after the day, in the best case he was returning to a state of slave, or he was just put to death. The roles were inverted to thwart the evil days of Saturn. 

Nowadays, we link this tradition to the Christianity. It is celebrate on January 6th (and during the rest of month) to celebrate the arrival of the Three Kings where Jesus was born. But to be completely honest, most of us just enjoy the family and friends moment whatever our religions or beliefs may be.

The modern world made this tradition even more delicious. Now you can find the king’s cake with various taste : chocolate, pear, apple, the original,… So which “Galette des rois” is going to touch your heart? 

Florence Bertulot