The King’s Cake


Our hairdresser Hughes, from Twin’s Hair Design here in Capestang France, gave me my new French-looking hairdo, honored us by inviting us to his home for the King’s Cake tradition. Like many people of the South of France, Hughes speaks another language, and has been very accepting and helpful to our family during our first year in France. Angelina is in their ‘third from the bottom out of 7’s’ class. Yup 7 beautiful children.

The King’s Cake tradition goes something like this: inside the cake is a hidden toy, whoever gets the toy, wears the golden crown for the day. Fifteen of us gather around their beautiful wooden table, seven of their children, two of our own and a close friend’s baby, as well as six adults. Each of us is allotted a slice of the torte, randomly picked by one of the kids under the table so she cannot see, calling out names.

The cake itself is a crusty pastry with an almond paste/pudding filling. Quickly devoured, we look for the special prize. Their oldest daughter finds the little mini-van toy, and gets to wear the golden crown. Everyone is delighted, and the fun just begins.

They crack a bottle of champagne open for the grownups, and they play a tongue twister game, and whenever you make a mistake, they heat up the cork and rub ash on your face. All in good fun, you have to be on your toes, as you recite your number, how many smear marks you have on your face as well as the person you pass to, their number and amount of black marks. I couldn’t even get past the tongue twister part, let alone change it each turn, ugh! The game is quick and changing and the ones that were excellent in the beginning soon enough make mistakes of their own. It was an afternoon full of laughs!

All this was after a special lunch Hughes made for us. A delicious Moroccan lemon chicken stew over couscous was the main dish. Made from chicken legs on top of sweating onions. On top of the chicken were carrots, celery, an assortment of peppers and chickpeas. Add water and Moroccan spices, (cumin, ginger, salt, pepper, cinnamon, coriander, cayenne, allspice and cloves) and cook for an hour. You add lemon, and cook another 15 minutes. It tasted like a curry, without the smell, the lemon and coriander are the prominent flavors, the sauce mixes with the couscous while you eat. Very light sauce, but packed with flavour. Simply delish!

After dinner we ate a salad, and they served a cheese plate. They had a creamy spreadable blue cheese, an almond hard cheese, a beautiful camembert and a brie; all eaten with bits of baguette. We were happily full.

Then came dessert. We had to try everything, especially the traditional French chocolate layered cake, to go with the coffee. We brought an assortment of desserts for the kids to try, and a couple bottles of Rose bule from Domaine de la Provenquiere. All made for a well rounded, and very large meal!

This warm hearted, close-knit family is a great example of what the people of the south of France are like. Generous in nature, they enjoy each other’s company, and the simple things.

Thank you Rosa family for a lovely day celebrating The King’s Cake!


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  1. Oh that game sounds like so much fun! I really like the idea of hiding a toy in a cake, and playing games. The food sounds so yummy… I love eating healthy spicy meals.

    What a great way to spend a day! It would be perfect with the yummy desserts, and the different types of cheeses.


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