I know I already wrote a post about King Cake last year, but let’s be real here. King Cake season happens every year, so we need to acknowledge that by eating more King Cake.
As I was sharing my most recent King Cake (see above) with some friends and discussing the amount of King Cake that gets eaten during this time of year, I kind of think they thought I was joking. But one of my favorite New Orleans themed retail shops created a print that perfectly sums up the consumption levels.
We're crazy about King Cake. Recently I’ve been made aware of an ongoing “debate” of sorts that has been rolling through the New Orleans area concerning King Cake. The question up for debate is, “Do you leave the knife in the box?” My answer is, are there people out there who don’t leave the knife in the box? 🤨
To someone outside the city, you may have follow up questions. What knife? Which box? Why would you leave a knife in a box? What is happening out there? Are you ok, NOLA? ⚜️
Here’s what’s going on: When a King Cake arrives in your house, it’s typically housed in a pastry box. Usually it has a window top so you can admire the cake before you buy it, and so you can routinely make eye contact with it throughout the day... in which case it will entice you to take another serving - even just a small one. (A true New Orleanian will only cut slivers off that are thin enough to never include the baby, so all of our servings are small.) (By the way, if you just asked yourself “what baby?” you really need to go back and read my post in that first link I shared today.)
If you’re hearing the siren call of your King Cake several times a day (and with so many people working from home right now, it must be really hard to ignore), it just doesn’t make sense to slice off some sweet satisfaction with a new knife every single time. Which is why most of us just leave the knife in the box. It was one of those unspoken things like Fight Club, but then someone started talking about it and now we’re all questioning if that is actually the right move or not.
Moving on to the next, there is something else about Mardi Gras that I really feel the need to address. In the last two or three years it has come to my attention that there is a HUGE misconception about catching beads at Mardi Gras parades. Now that I am far, far away from my city and chatting with friends who have never been there, it has been brought to my attention that the rest of the country thinks that in order to catch beads at a parade, ladies must flash the parade riders.
When I first heard this, I think my brain broke. And then I was completely mortified that people actually thought this about me. About my friends. About my family.
Once my system rebooted, I had to set the story straight. So please, PLEASE heed my warning if you ever plan to go to Mardi Gras parades in New Orleans:
1) IT IS ILLEGAL TO FLASH PEOPLE.
2) THERE ARE COPS EVERYWHERE AT THE PARADES.
YOU WILL BE ARRESTED FOR PUBLIC INDECENCY.
3) DO. NOT. FLASH.
Anyway, just a little life advice for you should you have the pleasure of making it down to New Orleans for Mardi Gras at any point in your life.
And when you do get down there for Mardi Gras, make sure you enjoy some King Cake. Feel free to leave the knife in the box! 💜💚💛
In the meantime, here’s a video I put together of me making this week’s King Cakes. It felt really great to work with dough again. At one of my previous jobs in NOLA, I used to work with dough that was roughly 8 times the size of the one you see in the video, and I typically made 6 batches of that large dough each day. (My arms were in great shape back then 💪) When I was making the King Cakes in the video, my hands just kind of took over and I got right back into the swing of it. #ItsLikeRidingABike I chose a traditional style jazz song for this video, too, which always makes me think of home. Enjoy!
If you need more history of this amazing confection that I obviously can’t get enough of, mosey on over to Many Eats to read another great, in-depth article about the history of King Cake.
Happy eating, y’all!
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