La “galette des rois”, the royal cake
Excerpt from our talk/tasting for West Wednesdays tour visits hosted byfanfare in amsterdam Bilderdijkstraat.
“When we arrived in the Netherlands we started to look for dutch biscuits and sweets to taste, and we must often stumbled upon marzipan cookies. In France, this taste combination is only associated with a very exciting short period of time, in January (from the 6th to the 15th approximately): the time for “Galette des Rois” or ‘King’s cake’. As we were missing it, Robin started to reproduce the cake everyday to make us feel at home. That’s what we are serving you today.
We designed a mix between the ‘gevulde koek’ and the “king’s cake”. He has however replaced the fava bean with a white dried bean. — Funnily enough we got to know that industrials were today producing the ‘gevulde koek’ with white beans instead of the almond and adding a almond flavor in order for it to taste like marzipan.
This traditional dish sounds sweet and friendly but has a very violent history:
- 1. Originally, Roman chiefs had the tradition of sharing a cake with their slaves to elect one of them as "king of a day". The one who would find the bean was then invited to fulfill all his desires (being: going to bed with the queen, ordering the death of others) before being slaughtered at the end of the day. This yearly event was thought as a way to simulate the flexibility of roman power to its people.
- 2. The tradition of the galette took a progressive turn under the French monarchy. Chose among a group of street orphans, a young king was elected for the day and the court was ordered to finance his education.
- 3. Under the french revolution, the galette des rois or ‘king’s cake’ was renamed: galette de la liberté to push all royalty away.
Although it is rare nowadays to share the galette with its violent origins in mind, the tradition of the galette remains, almost two thousand years later, still as lively and appreciated.to posit an alternative to destructive usage of land and climate distress, supporting these techniques of restoring land is the squareroot of mitigating climate change.”
🎞🎥 See video of the event on our Instagram: click here