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January 06, 2004

King's Day

Today is King's Day. It is celebrated in New Orleans as the official beginning of Mardi Gras, though the parades won't begin for a few weeks. This is one of the few days of the year that I miss living there.

Beginning today and through Fat Tuesday (the day before Ash Wednesday) bakeries and grocery shelves will be lined with King Cakes. Offices all around the city will have King Cake today and then every Monday until the end. If you're really lucky, you work where someone lives by Randazzo's or Gambino's bakery and will bring in the first cake. Theirs are the best.

Each cake has a little plastic baby inside. Tradition dictates that whoever gets the piece with the baby, has to bring the cake the next week. People have spent years training their throats to swallow the baby. But it's all in fun, and I've never seen anyone actually not bring in the cake.

I was going to copy my favorite King Cake recipe but was worried about Copyright infringement. So If you're interested in baking one or making any other New Orleans dish may I suggest La Bonne Cuisine This cookbook is printed by the women of All Saint's Church.

Begining in 1974 the ladies of the church held fundraiser dinners where they brought in the food and sold the recipes for $1.00 each. Everyone enjoyed the food so much that in 1980 the recipes were compiled into the first printing of the cookbook. They tested each recipe at cottage dinners in homes, 3 times before it was allowed to be in the cookbook. They're now on their 12th printing with 165,000 copies in print.

Happy Mardi Gras!

Posted by Angi at January 6, 2004 02:07 PM


Happy Mardi Gras! My kids have always had king cakes at their (Catholic) school. I had never heard of them before. They even sell them around here now. (Here being NC).

Posted by: annie at January 6, 2004 03:30 PM

Darlin', recipes are not copyrightable. Just don't copy any of the accompanying text. Post away!

Posted by: Carolyn at January 7, 2004 11:41 AM