Traditionally with frangipane, it is also eaten with apple and more recently with chocolate. In any case, the galette des rois has fans who are greedy enough to demand its preparation all year round. A collective was even formed in Paris to ask bakers to no longer just make them in January.
Who only eats pancakes on Candlemas (by the way, it’s February 2)? Who only devours chocolate at Easter or Christmas? So why would we only eat galette des rois in January? Purists will tell you that it is a question of tradition. Except that as much as Epiphany is a religious commemoration of the arrival of the wise men in Bethlehem for the birth of Jesus respected by both Christians and Orthodox, sharing a cake has nothing to do with faith . Even if the details of this tradition are not well determined, this dessert is originally a pagan celebration, in this case Roman. It was about celebrating Saturnalia, linked to the winter solstice. At that time, slaves could share the cake with the Romans and whoever got the bean had the right to ask for whatever they wanted during the day.
We could therefore not really cite a religious reason for only eating galette des rois on January 6. In recent years, the recipe has become a must-have for many pastry chefs who have managed to modernize it with a whole bunch of ingredients, shapes and textures, to the point of presenting it on display throughout the month of January. A Parisian collective was formed to claim the presence of the galette des rois well beyond… Even if we must take this fight in the second degree, it still generated a demand at Place de la République, in Paris on January 5. Repeating at the top of their lungs “galettes all year round, not just on January 6”, the group of gourmands took on the mission of putting stickers on the windows of bakeries and pastry shops in order to challenge traders about this want to prepare pancakes from January until December.
View this post on Instagram
Beyond the caustic side of this claim, the appeal of this collective still deserves to specify that the galette des rois constitutes an important event for the trade of many bakers and pastry chefs, but also of large-scale distribution. In Europe, some fifty million are sold per year. And it is estimated that these sales generate more than a billion euros. According to the TF1 channel, Carrefour stores alone sell 2.5 million. On the price side, we remember that prices skyrocketed last year due to inflation in both energy and butter, essential for making puff pastry. This year, the significant cost of this early-year dessert, which can well exceed 30 euros for an artisanal confection, could perhaps explain the decline in sales. According to Circana data, those in supermarkets fell by 10.6% during the week of Epiphany alone, from January 1 to 7. But, there are still many days before the galette disappears from the windows… unless the demand of the Galette collective all year round is heard. And in this case, why wait until Christmas to devour… a log?