Why Is King Cake A Part Of The Mardi Gras Celebration?
This Friday, January 6, 2023, marks the 'Feast of the Epiphany' holiday, also known as Theophany, or Three Kings’ Day. Long story short, this is a Christian holiday commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ and the three wise men who brought him gifts when he was a baby.
When Did The King Cake Tradition Begin?
It originated in old-world France and Spain in observance of the Epiphany during the Middle Ages. The tradition was brought to New Orleans around 1870 and adopted as a special treat to be enjoyed during Mardi Gras (“Fat Tuesday”). Based upon the Catholic religion, it's the day before Ash Wednesday, which is the beginning of Lent. Mardi Gras offered marks the last day households could indulge in various foods, such as King Cake, until the Easter holiday.
Why Is A Plastic Baby Inside?
The fève (figurine) represents Baby Jesus or the Christ Child. As part of the tradition, it is hidden inside the King Cake. Originally whoever got the fève would win a prize. Today, the person who gets Baby Jesus is responsible for bringing the King Cake to the next celebration.
How Is King Cake Made?
A little bit of this and a little bit of that! There are several variations of this Cresent City delight, which is shaped into a ring. It is packed with fillings such as fruit, decadent cream cheese, and boudin. The brioche-type dough is usually a blend of coffee cake and cinnamon roll.
King Cake is the cousin to the French version, galette des Rois, a flaky puff pastry with almond paste filling. The modern cake is decorated with buttercream frosting or icing in traditional Mardi Gras colors purple, green, and gold, covered with colored sprinkled and often topped with Mardi Gras beads and a crown.
Time to get your King Cake, Sha! Mardi Gras season begins SWLA on January 7, 2023, for the area events, parade, and Mardi Gras ball schedules, click HERE. Want to make your own King Cake tradition? Try this authentic King Cake recipe and Laissez les bons temps rouler!!