Are you in Spain on the Epiphany hoidays? If yes, you definitely have to try el roscón de reyes!

As we were saying in yesterday’s post, the twelft day of Christmas (aka Epiphany), is considered as the most important of this period by Spanish people. This day is specially awated by children who can finally receive their gifts brought by the three wise men. But a part from attending the traditional parade in the streets, there’s something else that Spaniards do to celebrate the day.

They eat el roscón de reyes (the twisted roll of kings) whose origin traces back to Roman times. Back then, this dessert was eaten in mid december to honor Saturn (the agriculure God). That day people celebrated the end of the darkest period of the year and the beginning of the sun holidays, that is the winter solstice. On that day slaves were offered a piece of cake made of figs and honey to be rewarded for the hard work made during the season. A dry bean was hidden in ne of those pieces of cake, as a symbol of prosperity. Whoever found it could enjoy one day of freedom and be treated like a king.

This celebration arrived to France with the name of Le Roi de la Fave (the bean king). That day a Spanish chef wanted to honour King Louis XV for his recent incoronation with a traditional cake from his hometown hiding a diamond inside of it as a surprise. The king was so pleased with the dessert that he spread it all over Europe among the aristocrats and the diamond was soon replaced by different items of value as coins, gold and jewellery.

Today the roscón de reyes is a round cake with candied fruits on top and some add nata (whipped cream), cabello de angel (candied spaghetti squash) or trufa (truffles cream). To continue the old tradition, the current roscon de reyes has one slice with a king or queen figure made of plastic and the founder is intended to have a lucky year, while who finds a bean inside, has to pay for the cake.


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