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King cake with the baby poking out.

A 'Slice' of New Orleans History: King Cake!

So most of you have decided you’re coming to New Orleans for PoleCon, and if you haven’t decided yet you totally need to come!

Mardi Gras and Bourbon street is usually what comes to mind when you hear New Orleans, and we’re actually gearing up for Mardi Gras/Carnival at this very moment. One of my favorite parts of Mardi Gras are the king cakes.

You might be thinking what the heck is a king cake, and why is it called that?

King Cake History 101

Originally, all kings day was celebrated on the twelfth day after Christmas and was a feast of celebration for exchanging gifts for the coming of the three kings or the “three wise men” who would then give gifts to baby Christ. These stories appear in the Christian/Catholic liturgy. Tradition on the twelfth day after Christmas, January 6th, was to bake a cake in their honor. Mardi Gras, also known as Fat Tuesday is associated as the last BIG party before Lent and Easter season. Today, many people do celebrate all kings day and Mardi Gras festivities to gear up for religious celebrations, but it has shifted to being more of a cultural celebration in New Orleans now.

The cakes have evolved from tough and dry with minimal sugar with a bean placed inside; the bean represented Christ. Today, king cakes are soft, delectable, cinnamon flavored danish style baked dough with green, yellow, and purple sugar and icing on top. There are also virtually dozens of filling choices too if you want a richer confectionery experience; some bakeries even decorate their cakes elaborately with fruit and heavy icing toppings. I personally love the regular cinnamon flavor with no filling, but a cream cheese filled cake is a second favorite.

A plastic baby is placed inside each cake and whoever receives the piece with the baby is suppose to provide the next king cake.

The downfall to reading about all this deliciousness – King Cakes have a season and you will not be able to walk into any bakery or corner store and buy one when you come for PoleCon. However, I’ll let you in on a little secret. There is one bakery that will bake king cakes upon request all year round.

If you must have one, and I think you earned one from all those workshops you’ve buyoemsoftonline signed up for – check out https://www.randazzokingcake.com. Give them a call a few days in advance and you should be able to get your hands one of these delicious, seasonal staples of Mardi Gras.

Ariel Blanco
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