Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Did you know that the French have a custom called tirer les rois?

On 6th January for epiphany ( l'épiphanie), the French eat a cake called une galette which is made of puff pastry with butter ( that's a must!!) with marzipan ( de la frangipane ) in the middle. A broad bean ( une fève) used to be hidden in it, now it is a small figure made of porcelain ( mind your teeth!!), usually a character from the crib, un santon but the word fève is still used
 It is an occasion to gather with family or friends and la galette is shared out between everyone present. The person who finds la fève (everybody asks: qui a la fève? ) is the king or queen of the day and he or she chooses their king or queen, therefore the expression: tirer les rois ( picking out the kings). La galette is sold with a crown ( une couronne ) so the king or queen of the day puts it on. It is a moment relished by children and funnily enough, the youngest child usually finds la fève and proudly wears the crown!

Our French tutors usually share une galette with students taking French tuition.
You can look at some photos on our website


  1. La galette etait delicieuse, merci Martine. Tirer les rois etait amusant et Lizzie etait une belle reine!

  2. Je n' irai jamais pas la chance a jouer ce jeu, et devient le plus jeune sous la table et trouve la feve...Helas! Peut etre dans ma maison de retraite.......
    Nous nous sommes beaucoup amuses. Clive et Lizzie a pris leur role comme roi et reine vraiment serieusement. Il faut que vous voyiez les photos aussi. Alors, c'etait une nouvelle experience culturelle et delicieuse pour le Jeudi soir classe!