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Saturday, January 15, 2005

Mardi Gras King Cakes

The King Cake is believed to have originated in France around the 12th Century. In European countries, the coming of the three wise men bringing gifts to the child Jesus is celebrated twelve days after Christmas, called the Feast of the Epiphany, or Little Christmas on the Twelfth Night, or King's Day.

The most popular custom is the baking of a special cake in honor of the three kings... a "Kings Cake." These cakes were made in a circle shape to portray the circular route used by the wise men. This route was taken in order to confuse King Herod who was trying to kill the Christ child.

In early European king cakes, a bean, a pea, or a coin was hidden inside the dough and the person who got the piece was declared king for a day, or was said to have good luck in the coming year. The Latin Americans; however, put a small figure inside the cakes representing the Christ child. The tradition has now evolved that the person who gets the baby is expected to carry on the carnival festivities by hosting the next king cake party. Starting the twelfth day after Christmas, king cake parties continue until the first day of Lent, ending on Fat Tuesday, also known as Mardi Gras day!

Notice the text in the small purple box says:
"Caution non-edible plastic baby inside" haha

King cakes were first introduced with little decorations on a simple ring of dough. The New Orleans style king cake is brightly decorated with the traditional Mardi Gras colors: purple, representing justice; green, representing faith; and gold, representing power. A fresh baked king cake is fine Louisiana tradition. I can't describe just how good these cakes really are and they come stuffed with different fruit or cinnamon flavors.

Here is another with a better look at the baby,
these days you have to stuff it inside in case
you are concerned someone will choke on it!

These cakes are carried by many stores such as bakeries and groceries and are eaten at this house just for the hell of it, no "party" needed as they are that good!