#74 DO La galette des Rois
It’s that time of year again for those flat golden flaky cakes to start popping up everywhere from a box at your local Monoprix to your neighborhood boulangerie, it’s La galette des Rois. The french hate monarchy for obvious reasons and take great pleasure in the idea that some fancy kings had to give a lowly barn baby some gifts, très égalité. The French celebrate this special moment of monarchical humiliation with a traditional cake during L’Epiphanie. A strange set of rituals surrounds the consumption of this holiday dessert as a tiny Christ Child figurine is baked into the galette and then ends up concealed inside a flaky slice on an unsuspecting diner’s plate. Not surprisingly, the only way the French can stomach Jesus (like anything) is if he is buried in layers of butter, flour and sugar. To further punctuate their general disdain for Christ, whomever ends up with the baby Jesus in their mouth has to wear a humiliating Burger King crown and is obliged to buy the cake for the next year’s celebration…either that, or they might just die, sort of like the French equivalent of Russian roulette: responsibility or death, both equally grim conclusions. Choking hazards aside, using delicious sweets against both monarchy and the Church is an effective way to instill in children republican ideals while still making way for yet another public holiday, mission accomplished France—power to the people, power to the pastry!