Carnival celebrated with variations of the King Cake

Traditionally, Carnival begins on 12th Night, or 12 days after Christmas, which falls on Saturday. In the Crescent City, krewes and revelers have marked the occasion for decades with 12th Night celebrations. To the west, Lake Charles has staged a huge 12th Night celebration for years. Best of all, the public is invited.

The Feast of the Epiphany (or 12th Night) celebration, hasn’t been as prominent in Acadiana, but it may grow to be. The Krewe of Carnivale en Rio will have the season’s first ball, and the Boys and Girls Club will hold a Carnival-themed gala on that night.

Maybe you’re interested in starting your own 12th Night tradition. Naturally, food will be part of the plan. There are many recipes that have been passed on to us from the European cultures that hold an Epiphany event. All seem to have one thing in common, a pastry or confection.

We all know the King Cake, which celebrates the three kings who visited the newborn King when he was 12 days old. It is made from sweetened dough shaped in a ring or king’s crown. In modern France, there is a Galette des Rois, which is made from puff pastry and conceals a bean.

The most interesting one I noted is the Spanish Epiphany Bread. Instead of piling on heavy icing, the bread is topped with slivered almonds and candied fruits. As with a king cake, one would hide a coin or bean inside. The person who finds the coin inside his or her slice of bread will be crowned the king or queen of the evening.

Recipe follows > please check under our Festive Recipes category.