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What is the king cake?

Most Southerners — especially those where Mardi Gras is celebrated in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas — have seen or tasted King Cake. These days, the colorful and sweet cakes are considered Mardi Gras treats. They can be found in most bakeries and grocery stores starting in January and throughout the Mardi Gras season.

The cake is made of a brioche-like batter and is usually shaped like a circle with a hole in the center. After baking, the cakes are traditionally topped with sprinkles of sugar in the colors of Mardi Gras: purple, gold and green.

According to KingCake.com, the tradition dates back to the 1100s: “The King Cake is believed to have originated in France around the 12th century. These early Europeans celebrated the coming of the three gift-bearing wise men 12 days after Christmas by calling it the Feast. epiphany, twelfth night or king’s day. The main part of the celebration was the baking of a kings cake to honor the three kings.

Epiphany is celebrated on January 6.

Its modern iteration of King Cakes, however, has its origins in New Orleans, according to a post by Sarah Baird on SeriousEats.com. “According to New Orleans tradition, the first royal cake was fashioned by a New Orleans social group, the Twelfth Night Revelers, who hid a bean, a jeweled ring, or a pecan inside the inside of the cake for their Mardi Gras celebration. Whoever found this trinket would be crowned queen of their prom,” Baird wrote. “For the most part, Kings Cakes were simply a home-baked family affair until the 1940s, when McKenzie’s baker Donald Entringer began baking the cakes in his shop. By the 1950s, they were a staple for all major New Orleans bakeries, including Randazzo, Gambino and Haydel.”

Modern bakeries in New Orleans, Mobile, Alabama, and along the Gulf Coast across Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, and Alabama often compete for the craziest combinations of toppings and toppings. . You can even buy a burger with King Cake buns in New Orleans, reports SeriousEats.com.

Why is there a baby in King Cake?

Baird mentioned that early cakes were filled with a variety of things, including pecans and rings. KingCake.com says the first cakes contained “a bean, a pea, or a coin.” From now on, “the bean, the pea and the coin have been replaced by a small plastic baby to symbolize the Child Jesus”. The baby symbolizes that “the person who receives the baby is expected to continue the carnival festivities by throwing the next King Cake party.”

Also, the person who finds the baby is believed to have good luck and prosperity.

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