Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Tale of Two King's Cakes...


I have always been needlessly confused about King's Cake or Rosca de Reyes. I found myself wondering why King's cake was in the store two time a year... Once right after Christmas... and another time early in the spring. Since information is just a click away these days...
I hopped on over to Wikipedia and then took a trip to the public library and found out all I need to know. The thing is that I live 509 miles from New Orleans and 204 miles away from Mexico... and two cultural celebrations just happen to merge here in the heart of Texas... The Gulf Coast traditions associated with Mardi Gras and the whole pre-lenten blow out that occurs... and the traditions of Mexico and their celebration of the Epiphany.
In Mexico Rosca de Reyes (wreath of the king) is used to celebrate Dia de los Reyes (Day of the kings). On January 6th a wreath of bread that is decorated like a Christmas wreath with dried fruits and candies is served. A small baby is hidden inside and whoever finds it has to host the next party in February 2nd and supply tamales and atole for all the guests. I had the pleasure of attending a small party while I was living in Mexico. I didn't find the baby so I was able to enjoy tamales and atole on someone else's dime... Woo hoo!
In New Orleans and other places in the Southern United States the King's Cake is associated with Mardi Gras. Like the Rosca de Reyes a trinket is hidden in the cake and whoever find it is given the responsibility of hosting a party... the difference being that they must host the next Mardi Gras party. We had a king's cake this weekend with friends... but there was no trinket hidden inside... What do you suppose that means? I'm sure it was simply for liability reasons that the store did not wish to include a choking hazard inside the cake... but seriously... I want to know who is suppose to host the next party?
Now that that mystery is cleared up I'm off to make some pancakes and crepes for Shrove Tuesday... Growing up that is the wholesome way that we fattened ourselves up for lent... I think I'll save the beads and the Mardi Gras style throw down for after the kids go to bed...

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for following me, now following you.

    It's cool to meet someone who has the same type of thumbs as me! For a while, I thought I was the only person on Earth with this rare kind.

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