Alsace 101: Cake and Crémant for Epiphany
January 01, 2018
Celebrated since the 14th century, Epiphany on January 6th (also known as Three Kings’ Day) marks the visit of the wise men to the Baby Jesus. In France, the traditional Galette des Rois (“King Cake”) is baked throughout the month and in Alsace it has a particularly sweet story.
The golden cake, composed of two large circles of puff pastry, is filled with frangipane (an almond paste) and hides a hidden charm called a fève, named after the bean that was originally used. The cake becomes a party game: cut by the youngest person at the table and served to guests, whoever finds the bean in their slice is named king or queen for the day and wears a paper crown.
Tradition has it that the cake is sliced for each person at the fête, plus one extra, which is offered to the next person who arrives. You can try your own with this recipe from The Food Network.
The royal-for-a-day may offer a beverage to all: often Crémant d’Alsace, as it is the perfect pairing for this royal sweet. Here are some suggestions from wine critics who recommended Crémant d’Alsace for the holidays.
Valentin Zusslin Crémant d’Alsace Brut Zéro Rosé NV: “Intense and vinous on the palate, this is a round and fruity but also pure, dry and salty crémant.” —Robert Parker, Wine Advocate
Dopff & Irion Crémant d’Alsace Rosé Brut NV: “Dry, fresh summer berry flavors.” —Alcohol Professor
Pierre Sparr Crémant D’Alsace Brut Rosé: “Festive pink with strawberry flavors and a hint of citrus flavors.” —Jersey Bites
Lucien Albrecht Crémant d’Alsace Brut Rose: “Red berry fruit, wild cherry, vibrant acidity, minerality and a dry finish.”— BestofNewOrleans.com
Meyer-Fonné Crémant d’Alsace Brut Extra NV. “At first, soft flavors on the palate, followed by a pleasantly tart, green-fruit finish.” —The Daily Meal