In Belgium, the galette des rois hides a gold coin

It’s a gift worthy of the Three Kings: a gold coin slipped into a few cakes by a Brussels pastry chef, instead of the traditional bean. This small round 18-carat gold coin stamped with the pastry logo and worth 500 euros, Luc de Weerdt will slip one into four pancakes chosen at random from thousands on Friday. “Customers like it, they are very happy, and it brings in a few more people,” admits the 60-year-old craftsman, of whom forty-six have worked in the kitchen.

As in France, the celebration of the galette des rois attracts crowds in front of pastries in Belgium, especially when the dream of a treasure hunt for a few lucky winners arises. Luc de Weerdt, who launched this commercial action in 2020, wants to produce 3,000 frangipane pancakes this year, or 500 more than last year. During Epiphany 2022, “we had two-hour queues and in the evening we had to tell half the line that we no longer knew how to serve”.

This year, due to inflation, it has increased its prices by two euros. “The prices of butter, flour and almonds have gone up. And the electricity bill will triple,” underlines de Weerdt.

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