Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

Galette a flat, round cake; the word being derived from galet, a pebble weatherworn to the shape that is perfect for skipping. Buckwheat or maize crêpes are also called galettes in some regions, e.g. Brittany, as are various cookies. ‘Flat as a pancake’ is just as graphic in French: plat comme une galette.

As a cake, a galette is made of flour, sugar, butter, and eggs in infinite variations, or simply of puff pastry. The glowing galette des rois found in Paris, Lyons, and generally north of the Loire is fashioned almost exclusively from the latter, the classic feuilletage. The ‘kings’ they honour are the three Wise Men come to pay homage to the newborn King of Kings in Bethlehem. They appear around the Feast of Epiphany. (See also twelfth night cake.)