March 17, 2010

La galette des Rois

One might think that after New Year's Eve, the holiday season is over. This, however, is not the case in France. They have one last holiday tradition up their sleeves.

The family who's studio I am living in invited me to accompany them to the neighborhood galette des Rois party. A galette des Rois is a pastry cake with a tiny figurine inside. The cake is divided up between all the guests, and the person who discovers the figurine inside their cake becomes the king for the day, complete with a crown. It is somehow related to the Three Wise Men visiting Jesus in the manger.

At the party, I mingled with the neighbors. There was coffee, tea, and three delicious looking galettes just waiting to be cut up and served. I chose to try the apple filled galette, and unfortunately was not chosen to be king. As more people were served their slices, it seemed as if no one was to become the king. Not that anyone was particularly interested. It seemed to me that people were there to mingle with their neighbors and enjoy each other's company.

Sitting in a chair next to the cake-table, enjoying my cake, I noticed the 5 year old daughter of the host checking out the remaining cakes. Spying something suspicious in one of the slices, she took her finger and dug into the cake, fishing out the trinket. Immediately after securing the prized possession, she ran to her parents, and told them she had found it in her slice of cake. Everyone cheered and she put on the crown.

I had two more chances to become king, but sadly never got to wear the crown. Maybe I should have employed the five year old's strategy.

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