According to Wikipedia, la galette/gâteau des rois is called a ‘French king cake’ in English, but a ‘French King Cake’ isn’t as impressive as a ‘gahlet day wah’; we are therefore going to use the French version, even if no one understands us.
We’re suave like that.
January 6 (the Christian feast day of Epiphany) is the ‘right date’ to eat this dessert, but it actually doesn’t matter. You can buy them all through January.
The galette des rois is special because a ‘fève’ (a broad bean or collectible porcelain figure) is hidden inside. Whoever finds it becomes king or queen for the day, complete with paper crown and felicitations from all around.
There are, politically-speaking, four ways to eat a galette des rois:
1. Monarchy: Share the galette with a large group. Besides becoming the king/queen, whoever discovers the fève will immediately be forced to choose a partner from the group to share the crown with (the queen/king). Drama ensues.
2. Capitalist: Do not share the galette. Eat a slice each day until you find the fève, become royalty and parade around all day in a crown. Success and gluttony guaranteed.
3. Communist: Place eight fèves evenly into the galette. Cut eight slices and share with eight people to celebrate the saying, ‘Everyone’s a winner.’ Hope that a ninth person doesn’t arrive.
4. Anarchy: Food fight. Whoever gets hit with the fève, wins!
Choose and conquer!