Finding a King's Cake used to be as tough as finding the tiny plastic baby buried inside one of these traditional Mardi Gras desserts. No more. Now it seems that everywhere we turn, there's green and purple. And although tomorrow's Fat Tuesday, it's still not too late to get your hands on one.
Last year, Chow Bella contributor Carol Blonder shared a bit of history about the King's Cake:
French and Spanish settlers brought the religious feast and celebration associated with Carnival to New Orleans. Marked by Bal masques, parades and a special cake decorated like a jeweled crown. In European countries King cake appears at the start of the holiday in January. Americans associate the sweet cake with Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday), although in New Orleans it is featured all during Carnival.
Over time, the bean has been replaced by nuts, coins, ceramic and now plastic babies. Like many holidays rooted in religious celebrations, its commercial potential has taken over.
Bakeries often mount the plastic baby on top of the cake for the customer to hide (chipped teeth or choking=law suit) at their own risk. If you win the prize tradition dictates you buy the next King cake or host the next Carnival party.
We've got word that even at this late date you can still get your cake -- and eat it, too. After all, what else are you going to soak up all that booze with?
But this year we saw an entire section at ABC Baking in Phoenix devoted to King's Cake supplies, and we've got word that several AJ's around town have the fancy purple/green iced treats in stock. (The folks in Chandler confirmed they have them -- but call your favorite location first to be on the safe side.)
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If you'd like to order a custom King's Cake, you're still in luck, too. Honey Moon Sweets bakery in Tempe is open til 3 pm today -- and they are taking orders.
Looking for a list of Mardi Gras parties in Phoenix? Jackalope Ranch has you covered.