Roscón de Reyes

The Roscón de Reyes is the traditional of the day of the Three Kings Day, which is celebrated in Spain and other Spanish-speaking countries such as Mexico, on the night of 5 to 6 January. The Roscón de Reyes can also be found in France, Belgium and Portugal, although they are not exactly the same as those in Spain.

Although it is commonly thought that the roscón comes from the Far East, the truth is that it is a Roman tradition and its origin is traced back to what was known as “the slaves’ feast”. A celebration that commemorated the end of work in the fields. As part of the celebration, sweets with figs, dates and honey were distributed among the slaves as a reward for the job well done.

So, the roscón symbolises prosperity and whoever found the bean was named “king of the kings” and, it is said, he/she could even be freed from slavery. The meaning of good fortune associated to the broad bean, was kept in France, where the king Louis XV replaced the bean with a coin, hidden in the cake. A tradition that arrived in Spain under Philip V and thus became a popular tradition.

In the 19th century, the coin in the cake was replaced by a figurine of a king and the bean stayed. In order for the two things to show opposite aspects, nowadays the king represents good luck and the bean bad luck. The tradition says that, whoever among children gets the king will be “The King” of the house for a day, while whoever among adults gets the bean, will have to pay for the roscón.

Whether you are lucky enough to eat the piece of roscón with the bean or the king, the important thing is not to miss the opportunity to enjoy a cake that can only be found in bakeries during the Christmas season, usually from the 31st to the 6th of January.

A delicacy whose ingredients have changed according to the tastes of consumers, as the original recipe lacked a filling and simply consisted of milk, sugar, butter, flour and yeast. Nowadays, a cream filling has been added, as well as truffle, cream or angel hair pasta.