Experiencing a bit of Louisiana Culture

King Cake from Randazzo

One thing that I LOVE about Louisiana is how much culture the state has.There are so many traditions and so much state pride here. Granted, living in North East Louisiana, I’ve been told I haven’t really experienced the real culture until I head down south. One of my good friends at the station is actually from a suburb of New Orleans, so he asked his dad to bring him a king cake from his favorite bakery, Randazzo’s. He describes King Cake as being almost a giant cinnamon roll covered in Mardi Gras colored icing. I love cinnamon rolls so I was looking forward to sampling it!

Trying my first King Cake!

The history of the king cake has to do with the three kings that visited Jesus in the nativity and the tradition was brought to the area by the French. The season for King Cake extends from the 12 days of Christmas until Mardi Gras. As King Cake slices were being handed out, everyone kept saying, “Has anybody gotten the baby?” or “I hope I don’t get the baby!” and I felt confused. “What baby?” I feebly asked already knowing it would be a stupid question to them. It seemed all at once everybody looked at me with their eyebrows raised until someone said, “Oh, I forgot you’re not from Louisiana!”

They explained to me that the baby represents baby Jesus, which kind of explains the name of the cake. The baby is a little plastic doll that is somewhere in the cake and whoever “finds” it has to buy the next king cake or host the next Mardi Gras party. Well sure enough, when that king cake was brought to work the next day, my slice had the plastic baby stuck to the bottom of it.

I think that means, “Welcome to Louisiana!”