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Chef David Guas should be on your radar when it comes to royal cakes – a sweet dessert similar to the bread often eaten during the Mardi Gras celebration.
The New Orleans The native, who owns the Bayou bakery, coffee shop and eatery in Arlington, Virginia, shares with Fox News Digital a little story of his favorite pastry, and why you’ll find a plastic baby in royal cakes.
“Royal Cake Mardi Gras like a pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving – without this holiday it would not be the same! Every table in every home, office, cafeteria and living room will be decorated with a royal cake at some point between 12 noon on January 6 and a fat Tuesday when Lent begins, ”said Guas, who is also the author of Dam Good Sweet: Desserts to satisfy your sweet tooth, New Orleans style.
“During this time, which can happily stretch for months depending on the calendar year, New Orleans is fascinated by royal cakes and parties,” he added.
As Guas explained, there is a lot of knowledge about the origin of the royal cake ritual.
“One bizarre story leads her to Western European pre-Christian societies, where anyone who found a coin or bean in a special cake was crowned King of the Year,” he said. “Whether this story is true or what you believe, Christians have long served cakes with coins or gilded beans on the feast of Baptism or the Twelfth Night, the feast of the visit of three sages – magicians or kings – to baby Jesus 12 days after birth.”
The transition from coins and beans to plastic babies apparently took place in the late 19th century.
“The current rituals of the royal cake in New Orleans have evolved since the late 1800s, when Mardi Gras Krewes (a term for community groups that organize parades and parties) used these cakes to select kings and queens to head weekly balls starting with Twelfth Night. said Guas, noting that the royal cake tradition is believed to have been brought to New Orleans from France in 1870.
Guas said that in seven days the person who finds the baby in their slice will bake the next one.
“If beans are now a child, and the ball is a Bacchanalian holiday, cake remains a sweet way of breaking bread with other revelers,” he said.