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Why do we eat King Cakes for Mardi Gras?

Wednesday, February 6, 2013 - 8:45pm

For many people, Mardi Gras wouldn't be Mardi Gras without a King Cake or two, or three or four...

Being new to the area, I was curious why these delightful cakes were only eaten one time of year, so I set out on a quest to learn more about them.

I went all over the Ark-la-tex, asking people about them, and I found that people love to talk about these special cakes, especially at Bergeron's in south Shreveport.

Like much of Mardi Gras, King Cakes have a religious background. They were originally made to celebrate the three kinds that brought presents to baby Jesus.

In the past, the baby in the cakes was a good thing to find. The lucky person who found the baby would be named king or queen of the krewe. That has now changed, and when I eat King Cakes now, I try my hardest to avoid the baby, because the person who finds it has to buy the cake next year.

Cakes can differ from place to place, each bakery puts their own spin on them. At Bergeron's for example, the cakes come unfrosted so families can spend quality time together, putting the final touches on the cake.

As for me, I'm not the most artistic person, but I do love licking the spoon with the leftover frosting.

This history, along with the decadent treat is just another reason that I love the Ark-la-tex.

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In New Orleans, the Twelfth Night Revelers, the second oldest Mardi Gras krewe (1870) were the first to hold their carnival ball each year on January 6th, the official start of the carnival season twelve nights after Christmas, thus their name.. They used a very large king cake to choose their queen. The lady who got the piece with the golden bean baked inside was their Queen.

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