Yesterday being January 6, Epiphany in the Christian tradition, I was invited to dinner with a family that observes the Mexican version. In Spanish it’s called Dia de Los Reyes or Day of the Three Wise Men. The celebration marks the arrival of the Wise Men, bearing gifts and a time for further gift giving. And eating!
That’s where the King Cake (or Bread) comes in. Now I’ve eaten the crown-shaped cake from New Orleans several times, but never a homemade one. My friend Eloisa made eight this year for family and friends! Last night she graciously invited me to share in the cake cutting and dinner.
A Tasty Tradition
So where did such a tasty tradition come? Baked in each cake is a tiny, plastic, baby Jesus figurine. The finder enjoys good luck that comes with the discovery. But in the Mexican version of the celebration, whoever finds the baby must take the figurine to the nearest church on February 2 (Candlemas Day). And is responsible for hosting a dinner and providing tamales to the guests. Hmm. . . the “losers” get to eat cake and await their invitation to the next feast.
First We Dine
Let the Search Begin!
Get Your King Cake
King Cake is served from January 6 through Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras). So grab a cake and a few friends and celebrate. You can find a King Cake at La Patisserie Chouquette; Federhofer Baker in Afton; Whole Foods in Brentwood and Chesterfield; Diana’s Bakery; Missouri Baking Company; and Pint Size Bakery.