Mark your calendars for February 12 – Mardi Gras! Historically, Fat Tuesday is the day of eating foods with more fat in them to prepare for the beginning of the Lenten season and Ash Wednesday, which is a time when some people fast and follow specific diet traditions (i.e. not eating meat). Traditionally, it’s a day filled with Mardi Gras parties that at times shut down entire cities in celebration.
The King Cake is a very big part of these Mardi Gras festivities! It takes its name from the biblical three kings that visited Jesus. Each cake holds a small trinket or a plastic baby representing baby Jesus. The person who receives the piece of cake with the trinket is traditionally expected to buy the cake the following year.
This year we’ve made some changes to the King Cakes in our bakeries. We’ve had a number of requests to add fillings to our King Cake. This is the year you’ll get your choice of traditional cinnamon filling, raspberry filling or chocolate filling. You’ll also notice that our bakers have made the sweet dough more moist and rich. Our King Cakes are also iced and sprinkled with sugar in the traditional Mardi Gras colors of purple, gold and green.
We’ve also made a change to the trinket that’s traditionally in a King Cake. In the past we’ve used plastic coins, but now we’re going back to the more common plastic baby. We can’t actually put the baby inside the King Cake, but you can if you wish, as the baby will be attached to the outside of the cake. Just be sure you know where you place it or else you’ll be back in our bakery buying King Cake next year!
King Cakes will be available in all 22 Lunds and Byerly’s grocery stores beginning February 8 and running through February 12.
If you haven’t tried our King Cake, start off a new tradition this year with your family or co-workers. It’s a great reason to have some festive celebrations during this cold winter and a small sign that spring is on its way!
Amy Fouks, bakery category manager