Hey all! Long time, no blog.
I have a few king cake-related media spots coming up and I think this is as good a place as any to let you know about them. I was just interviewed by Chris Leach over at WGNO for a small feature regarding that time I ate 80+ types of king cake during 2017’s Carnival season. From what I understand, the spot will be on TV at 5 or 6 p.m. and then I think there’s also typically a written article with the video I can share.
We basically just chatted king cake and then ate some outside of La Boulangerie (holy cow, awesome king cake!).
Chris asked me why I like king cake so much, and that got me thinking. Obviously there’s the taste. But I also love it because there’s this huge history across 4,000 years and different parts of the world that led us to the king cakes we enjoy now.
For example, we start eating it on Twelfth Night (January 6). But as early as 1,996 BCE, very ancient Egyptians were holding their winter solstice festival on that same day. Not a coincidence.
At least as far back as the 6th century BCE, ancient Greeks used beans to help tally vote totals as they elected their leaders. Again, it’s not coincidental that the person who gets the bean (or in our case baby figurine) in their king cake slice is called “King for the Day” (or Queen!)
Even the fact that it’s called a King Cake is a reference to January 6 being the day the Three Kings (how many colors of sugar are typically on the king cake?) were introduced to Jesus in Bethlehem.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. We spend a month or two eating king cake every year, but I love all of this history behind it.
If you also love it — or just want to watch me eat and talk king cake online — then check out my Virtual Field Trip with The Historic New Orleans Collection (THNOC) tomorrow at 2 p.m. You can learn more here and register here. It’s part of a full series of conversations THNOC is having with New Orleanians who specialize in different aspects of Carnival. For a complete list of the other Virtual Field Trips, check this out.
If you’re looking for some other king cake-related content, here’s an article I wrote about the more recent history of traditional New Orleans king cake, and here’s one I wrote about Twelfth Night and king cake more generally.