Galette des Rois

Today I had a meeting at La Boulangerie, a popular French bakery in Fresno. I had forgotten about the French Galette des Rois but when I left I couldn’t resist, and purchased the golden puffed pastry filled with almond paste.
Epiphany that marks the visit of the three wise men to baby Jesus is officially celebrated on January 6 in France, but the French, who never say no to an occasion to eat and share a dessert with family and friends, celebrate the entire month.
This is such a delightful tradition that I wrote a story about it for my son when he was still a little boy. He liked it so much that I submitted it and it was my very first published work.
King for a Day was published in Spider magazine in January 2009 and was lovely illustrated. Like Max, the protagonist of the short story, I was tempted more than once to cheat and steal the fève, the special token hidden inside the yummy cake, that would make me Queen. I’ve never been lucky with this kind of random thing and envied my sister or cousins who got luckier than me and year after year became queens and kings.
Tonight, my two younger kids were as excited as they were when little they couldn’t wait to find out who would get the fève.
My son hid under the table and decided who got each slice. His sister found the fève and he was disappointed. But she gave him the golden paper crown and he crowned himself.
The cake was delicious. The almond paste was sweet and sticky as it should be and for the time of a dessert I was back in my parents’ kitchen where my sister, the youngest in the family, hid under the table and told my mother who got each slice. 
I didn’t mind about not finding the fève. and not being queen. 
I was happy that one of my childhood favorite traditions had crossed the ocean and had become my American kids’ favorite tradition too. 


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