NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA–Bakeries throughout town are promoting king desserts by the droves as we kick off the start of the Carnival season. However have you learnt the historical past behind one of the vital iconic celebratory birthday desserts in culinary historical past?
DECEMBER 25TH IS WIDELY CELEBRATED AS THE DAY OF THE CHRISTIAN GOD’S INCARNATION. BUT IT’S THE TWELTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS ON JANUARY 6TH, WHEN THREE KINGS WOULD BESTOW GIFTS ]TO THE NEWBORN KING ON WHAT WOULD BE KNOWN AS EPHIPHANY. BUT TO QUOTE THE LAST QUEEN OF FRANCE BEFORE THE REVOLUTION– LET THEM EAT CAKE.
THIS IS THE STORY ABOUT THE KING’S CAKE.
“there have been all the time two king desserts in France there was the one from Northern France which is made with puff pastry and almond frangipane. That’s what we in New Orleans name a french king cake. In Southern France they make a hoop brioche and that’s additionally a king cake.”
BOTH KING CAKES COEXHISTED IN FRANCE QUITE HARMONIOUSLY, BUT AS PEOPLE FROM THE SOUTHERN REGION OF FRANCE MADE THE JOURNEY TO COLONIZE NEW ORLEANS IN THE 18TH CENTURY, THEY BROUGHt WITH THEM A SWEET TRADITION. BUT THE REASON FOR MAKING A CAKE WITH A BABY STARTED BACK IN EUROPE WITH THE CATHOLIC CHURCH. BUT ANYWHERE THERE IS CATHOLICISM– YOU CAN FIND A PASTRY LINKED TO CHRIST. BUT NO MATTER IT’S NATIONALITY, EACH PASTRY HARBORS A SECRET
“it began out being a fava bean that was dried and cooked into the cake and in the event you bought that cake on that day, you had been king or queen for the celebration.”
EVEN OLDER, AT THE TIME OF EUROPEAN PAGANISM– THERE WERE CELEBRATIONS WHERE ONE LUCKY MEMBER FROM THE TOWNSFOLK WOULD BECOME A KING OF FOOLS, OR KING FOR DAY. FRENCH BAKERS WOULD SOON HIDE SMALL PORCELAIN DOLLS IN THE CAKES. IN 1930’S NEW ORLEANS, MCKENZIE’S BAKERY WOULD USE SMALL BISQUE GERMAN FIGURIENS CALLED FROZEN CHARLOTTES, TO LOCATE THE HOT SPOTS IN THE OVEN.
“As we switched from coal to electrical kilns, you might congtrol the temperature higher and these little charlottes had been not obligatory. There have been tons of them and McKenzie’s had a truckload filled with them and so as an alternative of a bean, he used these charlottes.”
ACROSS NEW ORLEANS, 750 THOUSAND KING CAKES ARE BAKED EVERY YEAR IN VARIOUS BAKERIES.
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