We’re less than a month away from Mardi Gras (February 20th). Contrary to what the media would have you believe, there is a specific season for Mardi Gras; it doesn’t happen year-round. Since Mardi Gras is the day before Ash Wednesday, which is 40 days before Easter, which is the first left-handed Sunday after the third lunar eclipse following the return of swallows to Capistrano, Mardi Gras is a moveable holiday. Parades usually start about two weeks before Mardi Gras Day, and again, contrary to what the media would have you believe, do not solely go through the French Quarter. A good deal of them take place on Veteran’s Highway in Metairie, a large suburb of New Orleans, which always made it a pain in the butt to visit my friends who lived near there during the season.
Honestly, I don’t really care much about Mardi Gras. It was fun a couple times, but I’ve never missed it. However, there’s one Mardi Gras tradition I do enjoy: King Cake!
Yes, there’s a butt sticking out of that cake.
King Cake is a ring-shaped sweet dough cake topped with sugar (in purple, green, and gold colors). And there’s a plastic baby baked into it. The idea is, you have a king cake party, cut the cake into slices, and whoever gets the piece with the baby in it has to throw the next party. Growing up we often had king cakes at school, and later it was done in offices I worked in. Often the way you cut the cake reveals the baby immediately (as in the photo above), which gives the cutter the opportunity to make sure a certain person gets it.
King Cake is mighty tasty, and although there are recipes available for it, the best ones are made by bakeries in New Orleans who know what they’re doing.
Man I could go for a piece of King Cake about now.