When you stay at our hotel in Westwego, you will be able to experience much of the rich history of New Orleans, including Mardi Gras. As we talked about in our last post, Mardi Gras can not be mentioned without also talking about New Orleans and vice versa. Mardi Gras is one of New Orleans biggest events filled with bright colors, as well as sight, sounds, and experiences unlike any other event in the world. One unique part of Mardi Gras is the tradition of making and eating King Cake: and like Mardi Gras, King Cake is colorful with rich flavor and history.
What is It
New Orlean’s Kings Cake is a cake traditionally made with cinnamon-roll like pastry or flaky pastry dough: Usually made in a twisted circular shape. The pastry is usually filled with cream cheese, praline, cinnamon, or strawberry. Other variations of Kings Cake are made to celebrate other holidays and Zulu King Cake, made to celebrate the Krew of Zulu parade, and with chocolate frosting and coconut filling. Traditional King Cake is then topped with delicious colorful frosting usually in the traditional Mardi Gras colors of gold, green, and purple. Yum!
What’s in a Name
Traditional King Cake frosting colors are green, purple, and gold with each color representing an aspect of the Christian religion: green symbolizes faith, purple, justice, and gold, power. The colors were decided on in 1872 by the Krewe of Rex. The name “King Cake” comes from the Christian faith as well: Honoring the three kings that traveled from the East to visit Christ as a child, the Christian holiday the Day of Epiphany twelve days after Christmas.
Why is There a Baby in My Cake!
King Cake is completely unique in every way, but what makes it perhaps the most unique and interesting to those unfamiliar with Mardi Gras tradition is the small baby trinket that is hidden in the cake. The baby traditionally symbolizes Christ. If you are the one to find the baby in your piece of cake at your Mardi Gras party, you are said to have luck and greater prosperity. At some Mardi Gras parties you are considered the King or Queen of the party and the one who finds the baby is to throw the following years Mardi Gras party and/or bring the King Cake, as well. The tradition of hiding a “good luck trinket” in a cake wasn’t invented by those celebrating Mardi Gras, however: The custom originated in the Roman empire with the hiding of “good luck” beans in cake of the festival Saturnalia, a celebration of the god Saturn with its own unique traditions.
Rich Traditional History
As we mentioned the King Cake is associated with the Day of Epiphany, the day the three kings visited Christ and is eaten as part of Mardi Gras and Fat Tuesday celebrations, up until the first day of Lent. Sometimes Mardi Gras celebrators throw multiple King Cake Parties. The New Orlean’s variation originated from the city’s French ancestors and their own Mardi Gras celebrations across the sea.
We don’t know about you, but our mouths are watering!
Come Share King Cake With Us
Do you want to come eat King Cake with us in New Orleans? Come stay with us at the Best Western in Westwego! Come experience the delicious eats, rich culture, and talented musicians of New Orleans and stay in comfort at a Westwego hotel that prides themselves on affordable, updated, and comfortable rooms with free amenities and daily New Orleans-style breakfast!
Stay tuned to learn more about upcoming New Orleans holidays and event that you don’t want to miss!