Just when you think New Year festivities are at an end, La Fête des Rois starts on the Epiphany holiday, which falls on the first Sunday in January. This is a great holiday, where bakeries in France and throughout Paris make a round almond pastry cake that families buy to share, and celebrate a holiday where anyone can be king or queen for a day. A ’fève’ (originally a bean but now tends to be a plastic or enamel trinket) is baked inside the cake and the cake is shared around the table. Whoever bites into the almond crusty cake and finds the fève (just be careful not to break your tooth!) is crowned king or queen for the day.
Boulangeries throughout Paris have special feves, and be sure to get your crown (ask for a few) as the winner can wear the crown when the feve is found. The galettes are expensive — a small one for four usually costs 15 or more Euros, and larger ones can cost 20 or more Euros. But these tasty flaky treats, with a coveted prize and crowning of king by the winner, is a favorite and fun family tradition.
Some of our favorite boulangeries to buy galettes include:
Secco. This Seventh Arondissement boulangerie makes one of the best galettes in the city.
Gerard Mulot. One of the reputed best bakers in all of Paris.
La Petite Rose. In the less well-known 17th Arrondissement, this place will not dissapoint.
Pierre Herme. No one beats Pierre Herme at anything he does.
La Patisserie des Reves. On chic Rue du Bac, this place looks more like a high-end fashion salon, and the same can be said of the desserts.