Galettes des Rois and the Nabatean Spice Route
In a month’s time, I shall be visiting vineyards in the Negev desert and the archaeological remains of the ancient Nabatean kingdom. Splendid remains of buildings and extensive evidence of large scale agriculture and winemaking indicate the richness of this area in ancient times. The 1st century BCE historian Strabo described the Nabateans as being ‘temperate and industrious,’ Continue reading here as our Master of Wine Elizabeth Gabay shares historical information on the spice route, traditions that surround Christmas holidays in Provence, and best of all the Galettes des Rois.
In the 16th century Paris, the galette des rois was at the centre of a conflict between the patisseries (cake shops) and the boulangeries (bakeries). This led to the tradition of two very different cakes; one made with flaky pastry with an almond frangipane filling (popular in the north of France) and another, a circular bready brioche, flavoured with orange flower water, decorated with glacé fruit (popular in the south of France).
Cakes fit for kings which you can and should eat liberally on this day of the Epiphany for good luck.
Holiday Recipes from France: