Attempting king cake? Examine the layers earlier than taking a chunk

Once I packed my luggage and headed to Louisiana, I had no concept it was the most effective time of 12 months to be launched to Cajun tradition.

It was January, and I used to be beginning a graduate assistantship at Louisiana State College’s journalism college. The climate was heat sufficient to attend outside festivals with my new pals, and people weeks main as much as Mardi Gras have been eye-opening.

In the future, my pals requested if I want to go to a boudin competition. I did not know what boudin was, however I used to be curious.

On the competition, folks have been strolling round with what seemed like bratwurst on a stick. I quickly discovered that it was boudin, which French Cajuns pronounce “boo-dan.”

Boudin is a mix of pork, rice, onions, peppers and seasonings in a sausage casing. Some folks squeeze the filling out of the casing. Others eat the casing together with the filling. It was spicy and sizzling off the grill, and simply one of many many scrumptious meals I attempted within the Pelican State.

Throughout these first few weeks, I sampled étouffée, gumbo, jambalaya, crimson beans and rice, plus different fantastic meals.

King Cake is a colourful Mardi Gras confection, baked with a toy child inside.

Most of the meals have been tied to traditions. Probably the most fascinating custom concerned a king cake and the miniature toy child hidden inside.

The one who receives the piece of cake containing the toy child is taken into account king for a day. That individual additionally will get to deliver a king cake to the following occasion.

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Once I first heard about this custom, I believed it was very odd. Why stick a plastic or porcelain child inside a cake? I discovered that the child symbolizes the Christ little one. Discovering the child in your piece of cake signifies prosperity within the coming 12 months.

The custom is tied to the Catholic celebration of Epiphany, which celebrates the go to of the Magi (smart males) to the Christ little one. Epiphany begins on Jan. 6 and extends to Fats Tuesday, when Mardi Gras is well known. This 12 months, Fats Tuesday is March 1.

King cake tastes like a Danish pastry. The cake is round and incorporates cinnamon, praline or different flavorings. The highest of the cake is roofed in purple, gold and inexperienced icing and coloured sugar.

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The primary time I attempted king cake, I used to be actually hoping to not get the piece with the child. What if I bit down and caught the child between my enamel? There was one thing fairly unnerving about that risk.

One in every of my pals confirmed me tips on how to pull aside the flaky layers so I might not should face an unlucky state of affairs.

Fortunately, we didn’t eat king cake too usually. This can be very candy as a result of it’s loaded with sugar and fats. This can be very good, although, for those who ever have an opportunity to attempt it. Phrase to the smart: Examine the layers earlier than biting down.

Lisa Tedrick Prejean writes a weekly column for The Herald-Mail. Ship an electronic mail to her at [email protected] Observe her on Twitter @Lisa_Prejean.

This text initially appeared on The Herald-Mail: King cake is a Mardi Gras custom. Simply do not swallow the child