Mardi Gras season began Tuesday and we're ready with King Cakes. Tuesday was Epiphany, the 12th day of Christmas, and the day the Three Kings met the infant Jesus. The day kicks off seven weeks of festivities culminating in Mardi Gras, and King Cake parties have already started in New Orleans
Mardi Gras (French for "Fat Tuesday") is the day before Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent.
The classic King Cake is round or oval, with a small baby hidden inside. The baby is hidden to represent the fact that the three kings had a difficult time finding the Christ child and of the gifts they brought. The decoration is simple granulated sugar, colored purple, green, and gold (the colors of Carnival). Purple represents justice, green represents faith, and gold represents power.
Every baker in new Orleans has its own version for sale. The New Orleans tradition is that each person takes a piece of cake, hoping to find the plastic baby inside. The recipient is crowned king or queen for the day and is obligated to host the next party and provide a cake. King Cake is traditionally served with chicory coffee' as Cafe' au lait. It is best eaten warm and if you must break tradition, it can be eaten with ice cream, preferably chocolate.
So "come on down" and get one for your party. Ours are filled with cream cheese and taste great. We'll have them through Mardi Gras, which is February 24th this year.