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‘Manger comme quatre’ expression explained

by | Jan 7, 2023

It’s time for the weekly post to help you to improve your French! And because it’s January, I chose something relevant. The expression ‘Manger comme 4’ and the tradition of ‘Galette des Rois’!

The expression ‘Manger comme 4’ – what does it mean?

Today, I chose the expression ‘Manger comme 4‘. The closest English translation is ‘to eat like a horse’. In other words, to eat a lot.

Because yesterday, 6 January, it was the Epiphany – let’s use that as an example.

Quand il y a de la galette des rois, je mange comme 4 ! J’adore ça!

Translated to English ‘When there is Galette des Rois, I eat like 4. I love it!’

The tradition of ‘Galette des Rois’

I want to take advantage of this post to give you more information about a delicious tradition. The ‘Galette des rois‘ tradition in France.

Epiphany is celebrated on January 6. But in France, we eat galette throughout the month of January.

As you know, French people like eating. The galette is just another excuse and delicious way to spend time with your closest ones.

La Galette des Rois is traditionnally composed of a puff pastry. Filled with a cream made from sweet almonds, butter, eggs and sugar. Called ‘la frangipane‘ in which a small charm ‘la fève‘ is hidden.

Today, you can find other versions with chocolate, apple, etc.

Une brioche aux fruits confits

In the south of France, I’m sure that you saw another famous version. ‘Une brioche aux fruits confits‘ also called ‘le gâteau des rois‘.

This version is made from a sweet brioche dough shaped into a crown. Flavoured with orange flower essence with pieces of candied fruits and sugar on top.

Tradition when serving the galette

There is also a tradition involved for serving the galette when there are children around.

The youngest child goes under the table. And the person who cuts the galette (or gâteau des rois) asks ‘c’est pour qui?‘. Translated to English: ‘Who is it for?’.

And the kid answers ‘c’est pour…‘. Translated to English: ‘it’s for …’. The kid then names the person that gets the slice.

What happens when you find ‘la fève‘?

Whoever finds ‘la fève‘ in her/his slice is crowned queen or king. And has to wear the traditional cardboard crown.

Typically, this person then has to buy another galette. And will again invite friends and family to eat another galette.

I told you, we love to eat!

Now, tell me, what is usually the tradition for the Epiphany in your country? And for those living in the South of France. Which one do you prefer: the galette or the brioche?

I’ll read you in the comments 🙂

Céline Prodhomme

Céline Prodhomme

Hi, I’m Céline Prodhomme and originally from Normandy in France! After having worked as a project manager for 24 years at an American Corporate organisation, I decided to follow my passion – helping you not only learn to speak French but also understand the culture 🙂

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