This month of January, it’s time to treat yourself with galettes de rois with frangipane, to discuss this specialty and try to find as many beans as possible! Let’s go for Epiphany!
30 million cookies sold each year
Dominique Anract, president of the National Confederation of French Bakery-Pastry (CCNBPF), said that 30 million galettes would be consumed each year by the French in January, thus representing 5% of the annual turnover of the sector. A survey conducted by Epicery reveals that 96% of French people intend to taste at least one pancake.
Even if you hurry, from February the galettes will stop being available in bakeries and supermarkets. But why this 11-month hiatus, despite their great popularity? After all, pancakes are not only eaten on Candlemas. So why not serve the yule log as a dessert for December, keep the galette for January or eat chocolate eggs only at Easter?
A very expensive product
Budget and complexity are the first factors to consider. “Flour, milk and eggs are enough to make pancakes, while ground almonds or frangipane are needed for pancakes, which are much more expensive products. The Yule log is also more complicated to make”. That’s what it says Clémentine Hugol-Gential, professor at the University of Burgundy and expert in questions of mediation and food media coverage.
By making the Galette des Rois a rare product, bakers and pastry chefs have made it possible to treat themselves to a little special pleasure on just one occasion of the year. This is manifested by the limited number of galettes sold and the high price of each.
Dominique Anract is convinced that the galette would not be as popular if it were offered all year round. To support his arguments, he cites pastries such as pithiviers or dartois which, despite their presence throughout the year, do not have the same success as the galette. You might not even know they existed.
A ritual well anchored in society
Pagan and Catholic holidays very rooted in popular culture, such as the Galette des Rois, the Christmas log and Easter eggs, are much better known than Candlemas. Marie-Eve Laporte, teacher-researcher at the IAE Paris-Sorbonne and specialist in the evolution of eating behavior, points out that, on February 2, 2023, Catholics will celebrate the presentation of Jesus in the Temple, while the Epiphany will be remembered. through the Galette des Rois – whose name is a significant clue.
It can be consumed outside of January, but that would not be as significant. Even if we are not believer, this custom is considered a sacred act. Clémentine Hugol-Gential emphasizes that rituals, celebrations and the sharing of traditions are necessary for a society, whatever its spirituality.