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Feb 10,2006
The King Cake and Mardi Gras
by Staff

The King Cake and Mardi Gras
(Recipes too)

The King Cake, a tradition long associated with Carnival or Mardi Gras is usually oval shaped, donut style cake.

Often filled with delightful fruit and or cheese. With a sweet granulated sager coating. Colored in traditional Mardi Gras colors (Purple,Green and Gold).

The cake has a history dating to 12th century France.  where the cake would be baked on the eve of January 6 to celebrate the visit to the Christ Child by the three Kings.

Brought to America by the French in the 18th century, where it remained associated with the Epiphany until the 19th century when it became a more elaborate Mardi Gras custom.

January 6th is when the first cake of the season was served in New Orleans.

A small bean or figure of baby was placed inside. Who ever chose the baby/bean was able to pick a mock court and host the next party.

It is said that the lucky person who gets the baby will have good fortune for the year. The recipient then continues the festivities by having another party or bringing another cake. In the U.S., cakes are brought to offices, school, meetings and parties, and the person finding the baby in their piece must bring a king cake the next day

King cakes are commonly servered from the twelfth night after Christmas and continues on until Mardi Gras.

For a detailed history of Mardi Gras and parades see "History of Mardi Gras on the Gulf Coast" from our sister site

How to make a King Cake.

Visit one of the following sites:

You can also purchase King Cakes and have them shipped to almost anywhere.
Our favorite King Cakes come from Paul's Pastry in Picayune, MS.
Their website also has some historical information.

Other sites with history and this article utilizes information from:

Make or take a King Cake to your work or party!.

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