January 6th is King’s Day, or the Fête des Rois, a celebration of the Magis, which, in France, is really just an excuse to eat a special cake called galette des rois.
All sorts of chocolate-hazelnut-raspberry-passion-fruit variations abound, but I prefer my galette plain and traditional: delicious flaky pastry stuffed with sweet almond frangipane.
So, I hied myself over to the neighborhood boulangerie — not one of the city’s famous bakeries, but a humble spot where I buy baguettes — on the corner of rue du Rennes and rue des Meziers. As the gathering crowd attests, I think a lot of people agree with me that a plain Jane, traditional galette is the way to go.
Later tonight, we’ll gather with friends to cut slices of the sweet treat. The youngest person sits under the table and directs the distribution of the cake. If you find the fève, or bean (these days a ceramic trinket) in your piece, you are declared king or queen and are allowed to wear the crown.
All this merriment is probably meant to distract from the final minutes of the Christmas season, which officially ends today. But don’t worry if you’ve missed your galette today — pastry shops will abound with them until the end of the month.