Today is the Epiphany, or, in Louisiana, the beginning of the Mardi Gras season. It is also the day you can start having King Cakes and King Cake parties. I was upset to see that Whole Foods Market had King Cakes for sale on Friday. Is nothing sacred? King Cakes are traditionally decorated with the colors of Mardi Gras which are purple, green and gold. Purple is for justice, green for faith, and gold for power. They also have a plastic baby Jesus or a bean baked in them. The person who gets the baby or bean is obligated to buy the next King Cake and have the next party. When I was growing up in New Orleans, my favorite place to get King Cakes was Lawrence's Bakery on Elysian Fields. They also had amazing Italian desserts and the very best Red Velvet Cake. I just looked them up and apparently they are still in business although they were in an area that was flooded by Katrina.
Mardi Gras is on February 5th this year.