Every year, Parisians celebrate the Epiphany on January 6th by selecting a delicious pastry known as the ‘galette des rois’ from any number of famous — and not so famous — city bakeries. The galette des rois is a flat, flaky pastry that is about the size of a cake and filled with a delicious almond paste called frangipane. Within each galette there is a small figurine, and the person who ends up with the figurine is named the king for the day — roi is the French word for king.
Although associated with the Epiphany, the tradition of eating the galette des rois now goes beyond a one-day celebration and is celebrated for all of January, giving guests staying at the Hôtel Louvre Marsollier a whole month to discovery this tasty French custom.
Come January, almost every bakery in Paris will be offering the galette des rois, leaving visitors with some tough decisions to make regarding where they should purchase their own heavenly treats. For the more adventurous experimenters, there are even galettes filled with chocolate or fruit in addition to, or instead of, the classic frangipane. The following bakeries represent just of few examples of what Paris has to offer to those in search of the best galettes des roi, which can be translated as the ‘cake of the kings.’
One such example is presented by a pastry shop called Jean Millet. Located in the 7th arrondissement at 103 Rue Saint-Dominique, this gourmet pastry maker has been around since 1963. The galettes at Jean Millet can come either with or without a delicate whipped almond cream on top.
Another example of an exceptional galette des roi is made by Eric Kayser, a bakery with several locations throughout the city of Paris. One thing that makes Eric Kayser’s galettes special is the set of special figurines placed inside their cakes. These figurines all represent ‘great men’ in French history, with each figurine comprising a famous citation about bread. This allows the galette to be both delicious and educational.
Other famous Parisian pastry shops and bakeries include La Durée, Lenôtre, Dalloyau, Stéphane Louvard and Christophe Roussel, so visitors have a myriad of choices when it comes to celebrating with a galette des rois in 2013.