When is Epiphany celebrated?
Traditionally fixed in the Christian calendar on January 6, the date of Epiphany inevitably fell in certain years, in the middle of the week. A reform decided to transfer it to the second Sunday after Christmas. This year, it will be possible to draw the kings, on Sunday January 8, even if we will be able to taste 2024 pastry pancakes, during almost the entire month of January.
What is the origin of the bean?
On Epiphany, as tradition dictates, the person who found the bean buried in the cake is crowned king or queen for the day. This custom actually dates back to antiquity, when the Romans organized great festivals at the time of the winter solstice, to pay homage to Saturn, god of agriculture and weather. The latter gathered between the end of December and the beginning of January, around a cake, in which a bean was hidden, which, just like today, designated the king or queen of the feast.
Since antiquity, the bean has often been seen as a symbol of fertility due to its embryonic form. It was not until the end of the 18e century that the first porcelain beans appeared, still very popular to this day, despite the appearance of plastic ones.
Brioche or frangipane?
If the frangipane pancake, born in the 17th century during the reign of Louis XIV, seems to have established itself in France, the brioche with candied fruits is still legion in certain regions such as the North, Provence and Languedoc.
The frangipane galette recipe
It is generally accepted that a galette des rois with frangipane, in addition to the puff pastry, is made up of approximately a quarter of butter, a quarter of sugar and a quarter of almond powder. A relatively simple and basic composition to which we add eggs, whole milk, and sometimes rum, or vanilla, although today we find many variations ranging from the addition of chocolate chips, zest of citrus fruit, coconut, or even pieces of apple.