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We will once again be making king cakes for Mardis Gras. Bill St. John tells us all about the significance of these cakes below. Order yours starting today through Wednesday, February 7, then pick it/them up from Sunday, February 11, through Tuesday, February 13.
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You'll note that, for the past few months, the elves in the Marczyk Fine Foods baking department have been turning out of their ovens some awesome breads for you as part of their "Artisanal Bread Program." November and December last year came forth, respectively, with a beautiful herbed sourdough boule and the annual holiday stollen. This January sported a Polish rye.

And for February, in time for Mardi Gras and much-needed good cheer, the artisanal bread is — ta-daaaaa — a "King Cake," a very cakey bread (or, looked at another way, a very bready cake) if ever there was.

Not much "king," anymore really, in this cake, the original reference being to the three kings who visited the Baby Jesus in his manger in Nazareth. Oft-seen shaped in a turban-like ring, the name is also a throwback to the headdress of those kings, known as "Magi" ("Wisemen") from the Far East and, expectedly, turbaned.

King cakes, then, were baked and eaten beginning on the Twelfth Night of Christmas (January 6th), also known as the Feast of the Epiphany (from the Greek, "the Showing"), the day when the kings purportedly visited Nazareth and witnessed this child — eaten, that is, all the way up to Mardi Gras, the day before Ash Wednesday, 46 days before Easter, this year, February 13th.
This aerial surveillance image of our king cake reveals it to be delicious. We 100% guarantee that your king cake will not be surveilled.
Hence, the riotous nature of king cakes for Carnival (in olden days, the entire period from Epiphany until Ash Wednesday), New Orleans, Mardi Gras and gorging on treats and tastes before the fasting that marks Ash Wednesday and Lent.

This religious past also explains the small figurine baked into king cakes.
It is meant to symbolize the same Baby Jesus. Secularization having taken over, however, it — and certainly the cake itself — is now a sign of good luck or favor, a celebration of happy chance during a typically dreary time of year.

Bakers, like us, adorn king cakes with worldly-meaning colors, too, icings in purple (signifying justice), green (growth) and gold (of course, prosperity or wealth). Baby Jesus keeps smiling, the best He can do in such a secular situation.

In New Orleans, if you find the plastic baby in your portion of king cake, you are obliged to host next year's Mardi Gras table and bring the future king cake. Also, you might be crowned as "King for the Day," the "Magi" (or "wise") part up to you.

Marczyk Fine Foods

4850 E 39th Ave, Denver, CO 80207

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