Did you guys every hear of a King cake?
I walked into the kitchen at work this morning and there was this odd looking cake decorated in Mardi Gras colors.
It had a note on it saying, "Look out for the baby inside" and I thought that was pretty weird.
My first day, as I was being walked around and introduced to everyone, I met a guy named King. Well, King is quite the foodie and he offered me one of the cinnamon buns that he had made. I was in cinnamon bun heaven! King travels around the world as an engineer for us and is currently compiling recipes that he's gathered over the years for a cookbook. Occasionally, he'll make one of those recipes and bring it in for people to try.
So, OF COURSE, I assumed "King" had made the cake for Fat Tuesday and scribbled this little note on it to be silly. Well, I couldn't have been any more wrong.
Apparently, the King cake has a long standing tradition in New Orleans. Some say the tradition of the wreath shaped cake to honor Christianity's Three Kings goes back to old world France and Spain who then spread the tradition to the Americas. The mardi gras colors are represented in purple for justice, green for faith and gold for power.
A toy baby (to represent the Baby Jesus) is placed in the cake and whoever gets the piece with the baby will have good luck. As long as they don't choke on it.
The tradition was started in our office about 10 years ago by someone's wife who happened to be from New Orleans and thought it would be a fun thing to bring in. The baby recipient is kept secret until the cake is gone. The "winner" is ensured good luck and has the lucky honor of buying the cake next year.
For the record, I didn't get the baby but I think I'm pretty lucky to be part of such a fun group anyway.