How to Eat the Roscón de Reyes in Spain

Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!

– Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Celebrating the Three Wise Men

In Spain, Christmas is not quite yet over. Last night symbolised when the Three Wise Men arrived to Jesus, so in Spain we celebrate this Christian part of Christmas too.

I’m going to be a bit Grinchy though, because at the same time, contrary to what the Grinch thought, it means that last night all the children received more presents from the Three Wise Men. Traditionally the Spaniards only celebrated the arrival of the Three Wise Men with regards to receiving Christmas presents. Now globalisation has taken over so they receive double presents: from Santa Clause and from the Three Wise Men. This is fabulous for families to get together and continue celebrating, but (and now an even Grinchier thought) I bet all those Spanish families going through a hard time in the awful Spanish economic situation aren’t too pleased with their kids wanting double presents.

On a merrier note, the day after the arrival of the Three Wise Men, we continue celebrating by eating the Roscón de Reyes.

Opening the Roscon de Reyes

I did not bake ours. I reserved it from the bakery behind my place.

 How to Eat {or Interpret} the Roscón the Reyes

The roscón de reyes can roughly be translated into the big round cake with a hole in the middle (roscón) of the kings (de reyes). Eating the roscón de reyes is actually quite fun. Do chew properly because inside there are some small presents. The two most distinguishable ones are the king and the bean.

If you receive a figure of a king, it means that afternoon you are The King! You get to wear the crown that evening.

If you receive the bean, you have to pay for next year’s roscón. It’s quite a quirky tradition.

Our roscón came complete with some carbon (coal made out of sugar), which is given to children who have been bad the last year, instead of receiving the gifts they would rather have.

Carbon, crown and bean

When we picked up the roscón we couldn’t resist these gingerbread figures too.

Gingerbread figures

Anyhow, now I have to run as soon we have a dear friend arriving to eat the roscón with us.

Roscón de Reyes

Feliz día de Reyes!

28 Comments

  1. jmsabbagh 2014-01-06 at 18:39

    Delightful during winters months by the fire with cup of coffee.Warm regards.jalal

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2014-01-06 at 23:24

      Actually sorry but it was unusually warm here today… it’s being quite a weird warmer winter! Warm regards 🙂

      Reply
  2. Sunny 2014-01-06 at 19:02

    Hey, this is so different from the Galette des Rois that we have here (it’s filled with frangipane)! I got an Azrael (Gargamel’s cat. Remember him?) from the cake several years ago. It’s still displayed in my book cabinet with the rest of my cat lady collection LOL

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2014-01-06 at 19:04

      Yeah I remember him 🙂 haha. Oh yes I saw some Galette de Rois when I was in Lille last week, they looked delicious! You should see my mum’s place, the whole house ensures you know she is a cat lady 🙂 Plus, everyone that gives her presents makes sure its in the shape of a cat..

      Reply
      1. Sunny 2014-01-06 at 20:21

        Haha just so that I can gauge how my future kids are going to feel about this: was it hard growing up with a CCL for a mom? 😉

        Reply
        1. Sofia 2014-01-06 at 23:21

          Hehe no, because I am too!
          I just don’t have a cat at the moment because my life doesn’t allow it. But I already have the name for my future cat 😉 and it will be Chopin!

          Reply
          1. Sunny 2014-01-06 at 23:25

            Aww that’s a good one! Also, good to know my kids probably won’t be too traumatized LOL

            Reply
  3. cruzccc 2014-01-06 at 19:41

    Qué rico!!! En casa ya nos hemos comido el roscón también 😉
    Un besito guapa y feliz comienzo de año!!!

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2014-01-06 at 23:22

      Ahhh, nosotros lo acabamos de hacer ahora (un poco tarde lo se). Espero que lo pasasteis genial! Besos y feliz año!

      Reply
  4. Guillermina Bósquez Stover 2014-01-06 at 20:29

    En México se llama “rosca de reyes” y trae un niño Jesús de plástico! In Mexico it’s called “rosca de reyes” and inside the wreath is a plastic figurine of a baby Jesus…we’ll have to get it today at our local bakery “Panadería Chapa”…

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2014-01-06 at 23:22

      Ah, so we’ll be doing something similar today 🙂

      Reply
      1. Guillermina Bósquez Stover 2014-01-11 at 00:43

        Well, yes, the tradition came from Spain with the “conquistadores” who came to the New World. It is a Catholic tradition…

        Reply
  5. Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward 2014-01-06 at 20:49

    Que rico. Feliz día de Reyes!
    Did you find the king? Would that make you Mr. H king for a day – or could you be queen for the day?
    Besos!

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2014-01-06 at 23:23

      Mr. H. was the King! (I’m always the queen 😉 ) Besos!

      Reply
    1. Sofia 2014-01-06 at 23:22

      Oh I’m glad 🙂

      Reply
  6. jmsabbagh 2014-01-07 at 00:33

    Here in the USA we have below zero temperature specially in Chicago New York.Regards.jalal

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2014-01-07 at 20:28

      Oh yes I imagine Chicago and New York to be freezing right now!

      Reply
  7. Dalo 2013 2014-01-07 at 04:18

    What a great quote to open up this post (Dr. Suess is one of my favorites). I like this idea of the Feliz día de Reyes celebrations. I think it is a perfect way to end the holiday season.

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2014-01-07 at 20:29

      I think it’s a fun quote too and I really enjoy The Grinch! 🙂 Yeah, it is a nice way to end the holidays.

      Reply
  8. Mabel Kwong 2014-01-07 at 10:06

    It is always so, SO hard to resist eating a cute gingerbread man. You just want to stuff him in your mouth! Love how you pay so much attention to detail and ingredients, I feel like I’m learning a lot about food from your blog 🙂

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2014-01-07 at 20:29

      Oh I always feel sorry for the gingerbread man when I eat them… 😉

      Reply
  9. Laura Lynn 2014-01-07 at 15:41

    Yes, we celebrate the Epiphany here too but not with presents, worse luck! This is the day we clean up and take down all the decorations. We eat a pannetone. I think your cake looks better. Next year I am going to join in that tradition and if I can’t find a rosca de reyes I will make some kind of version of it. It looks delicious. Recipe hunt is ON!

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2014-01-07 at 20:31

      Pannetones are nice, but yeah I think these are better 😉 This one was brought from the bakery behind where I live, it was delicious. They can be plain inside, or have either cream, custard or marzipan inside. This one had marzipan, as in inside there was marzipan and also dough. It was a really delicious one!

      Reply
  10. Spanish Kitchenette 2014-01-13 at 21:36

    Hola! It just caught my attention that you buy el roscón at the same pastelería that my boyfriend does. They have lovely cakes there.

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2014-01-13 at 21:39

      Really? So we must be neighbours 🙂

      Reply
  11. Obsessive nutrition compulsive 2014-01-24 at 14:59

    The Christmas-occasion cakes/bakes seem to have added charms don’t they? I love pannetone, stollens, the king cakes looks nice as well! Although I have not been fortunate enough to try any… One stollen here in Bangkok is 300 plus Baht, and I haven’t got the proper equipment to bake at the moment! I imagine the stollens/pannetones would taste a bit like raisin bread? And I have heard of the whole ‘plastic baby jesus’ figure to, as mentioned by one of your readers 🙂
    -Izzy

    Reply

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