Your Friday French Fundamentals: La Galette des Rois

January 3rd, 2013

ga·let·te des rois [galɛt de rwa]

The mix-up: A literal translation might make one imagine a grandiose wedding-style cake worthy of royalty.

Actual meaning: It is a simple cake made of a flaky puff pastry filled with buttery almond cream. It gets its name from the holiday on which it is served – le Jour des Rois, or Epiphany. “Tirer les rois” is the highlight of the event. A “fève” (small porcelain figure) is hidden inside each cake; the person who finds the “fève” is crowned king or queen for the day and is expected to buy the next cake.

Food for thought: On le Jour des Rois, the French President receives a galette des rois, sans “fève“.

Have you come across some unruly French words? Please share them in the comments or send us an email and we’ll feature them in later posts.

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Food Pyrenees is a boutique culinary travel company specializing in all-inclusive field trips to Southwestern France for curious foodies. Our blog, The Dish, offers food for thought by tour curator Aurelie Brown.

Aurelie Brown