King Cake |

February 16, 2010 by Post Team 

King-Cake-HistoryKing Cake | Cake is a part of many Mardi Gras celebrations around the world. But what’s the history of this tradition?

It’s Fat Tuesday! Or Should I say Mardi Gras. The day preceding the Ash Wednesday is called with several names in different places. In some countries, it’s called the Pancake Day, in other countries it’s known as Mardi Gras or simply Carnival of Tuesday. It’s a Christian feast which is celebrated in all Catholic countries.

Several events and theme parties are associated with the Fat Tuesday. In European countries as well as American cities, costumed parades march the streets on this day. Special meals and foods are also prepared for the day.

One of the major foods associated with the Fat Tuesday/ Pancake Day/ Mardi Gras is King Cake. King Cake becomes popular in Christmas season as well as in the Carnival. In America, King Cake is associated with the Mardi Gras celebrations.

King Cake is a round/oval shaped cake which is decorated with the traditional Mardi Gras colors i.e. purple, green, or gold. The King Cake is baked with a trinket (often a plastic baby boy) inside it. There’s a tradition in some countries that whoever gets the trinket in his piece of cake will either host the party or bring a King Cake next year.

The History of King Cake Tradition

The cake is named after the Biblical kings.
It is said that the Biblical kings journeyed for twelve days and arrived to honor the Christ child on the Epiphany Day. The tradition is to bake the King Cake after the Twelve Days of Christmas until Mardi Gras.

There are other culinary traditions too. For instance, in France a puff pastry with a little bean hidden inside is made during the Carnival season. These beans were replaced by porcelain figurines in 1870 and this tradition is practiced until now, thought instead of porcelain plastic figurines are now being used.

The King Cake history in New Orleans dates back to eighteenth century. This tradition was brought by French and Spanish colonists. In New Orleans, several styles of king cakes are baked on the Mardi Gras and during the Carnival season.

In France, Spain, and Mexico, these cakes are found in the bakeries during the month of January.

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