Category Archives: Traditions

French Traditions

Galette des Rois Tradition and Recipe


On January 6th all over France, we celebrate Epiphany Day 12 days after Christmas with La Galette des Rois which is reminiscent of the biblical Christian tradition of the three wise men’s journey or Les Trois Rois Mages bearing gifts of gold, myrrh, and incense following the birth of Jesus. The three wise men or Kings were called Balthazar, Gaspard, and Melchior who followed the star to find Jesus in the manger.  The galette follows the tradition of the Tirage des Rois or the drawing of the King. Inside the galette, there is a little trinket or a fève.  Custom has it that the youngest child would hide under the table blindfolded and designate each piece of galette to be served to the guests. Whoever got the piece of galette with the hidden fève would be crowned King or Queen for the day and wear the Couronne d’Or or golden crown.

The traditional fèves ( the trinket, figurine, or bean hidden inside the galette)  in France is quite impossible to accidentally swallow because it is big!  In France, there’s a new theme out each year ( one year there was even a Coca-Cola theme or Disneyland!) These little porcelain figurines are becoming quite collectibles and did you know that collecting these fèves is called: Favophilie?

La Galette des Rois is an anticipated treat and it is sold throughout the month of January in bakeries or supermarkets. There are few galette variations some with fruits, nuts, or no filling depending on the region but my ultimate favorite galette is the galette filled with almond paste, not to be confused with the Frangipane filling which is half crème d’amande and half crème pâtissière.  Depending on how rich you want your galette you can adapt the recipe check out La Galette des Rois – 3 Easy Recipes.

In the North of France in  Normandy, la Galette is made of pâte feuilletée or puff pastry stuffed with a dense, creamy almond cream and crème pâtissière called frangipane. (personally, I prefercrème d’amande or pâte d’amande” which is just blanched almonds in powder, butter, sugar & eggs). In the south of France, you’ll be eating a brioche-style cake covered with candied fruits called Gateau des Rois.

Happy Epiphany Day!  Bonne Fête des Rois!

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“Je suis fou du chocolat Lanvin!” Dali



In 1968 in France, there was a tv commercial for the LANVIN®   chocolates starring Salvador Dali and his infamous mustaches saying: “Je suis fou du chocolat Lanvin! I’m crazy about Lanvin Chocolate”. I am also crazy about this chocolate especially the Lanvin “Escargot! I remember receiving a huge box of Escargots as a gift from my childhood Bestie Christine and devouring these big scrumptious “snail-shaped” chocolates stuffed with a creamy praline center.


LANVIN®  was originally a chocolate factory founded in 1921 called “Sucrerie Bourguignonne”. L’Escargot LANVIN was created by Etienne Lanvin in 1934 in Bourgogne and comes in milk, dark, and white chocolate. This treat comes out during the Christmas season or Noël dressed and wrapped in festive gold foil. Bite into the thin layer of chocolate and savor the smooth ultra-creamy rich almond and hazelnut praline filling. The chocolate factory is still located in Dijon now owned by Nestlé under the name of “Chocolaterie de Bourgogne”.

Today you can still find Les Escargots Lanvin all over France or order them online in the US. Enjoy!

Je suis fou du chocolat Lanvin! Dali

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Les Papillotes de Noël


Do you know the story of the French foil-wrapped Christmas chocolate called Les Papillotes de Noël ? These delicious treats got their names from Mr. Papillot. It all started in 1790 in Lyon , France with the chocolate maker Monsieur Papillot, his niece, and his apprentice. When Mr. Papillot’s apprentice fell in love with his niece, he would secretly send her love messages scribbled on a small piece of paper wrapped around a piece of chocolate from the shop.

When Monsieur Papillot noticed there were chocolates missing from the shop, he didnt get upset, instead it inspired him to create Les Papillotes en chocolat. Pieces of chocolate wrapped in foil containing a message or a proverb in it. Since then, The Revillon Chocolaterie or chocolate factory has kept the tradition alive and has become the specialist and leader of the Papillote since 1898.

Today the Révillon Papillotes symbolizes the arrival of the holidays or Fêtes de fin d’année in France. The Papillote is enjoyed every year as a Christmas tradition before, during and after the holidays and also used to add a festive touch on the table for the Réveillon de Noël or even on the sapin de Noël.

These delicious holiday treats are festive and fun as you unwrap the foil and read your fortune or proverb and come in many varieties from dark chocolate en chocolat noir, chocolat au lait, and even pâte de fruits.

What proverb will you find as you open up your Papillote?

“Il n’y a qu’un bonheur dans la vie c’est aimer et être aimé. There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved. ” George Sand..

“Après la pluie, le beau temps. After rain comes sunshine”

“La vie est faite de petits bonheurs – Life is made up of little pleasures “

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