Its Carnival Time in New Orleans and Everybody’s getting ready to have fun!
So, what is your favorite thing about Mardi Gras? Mine is the King Cake. I have my King Cake standards and my favorite is from Randazzo’s. Manny Randazzo’s King Cakes to be exact. I am also a purist. I don’t go for the fillings. All I want for Mardi Gras is a good, original, traditional king cake. I love to collect the dolls! I send King Cakes to my friends who have relocated out of New Orleans hoping this will remind them they need to move back. The good news for some is now you can go online and order King Cakes to be delivered right to your door! I only mail them to friends. I don’t order them to be delivered to my door. I would miss waiting a good hour or more in the long line that stretches around the block while talking to and making new friends. I like Haydel’s too. Haydel’s is my very second most favorite King Cake, and I like to go there and wait in line for the same reason. It is part of Mardi Gras, waiting and talking to people in the king cake line and comparing why you like this one better than that one. The worst one ever made was McKenzie’s King Cakes. They tasted like cardboard. I could never understand why McKenzie made such an awful king cake and why anyone would ever buy them. My grandparents bought them because they lived two blocks closer to McKenzies’. Randazzo’s was another two minute drive, but like most people in their generation, “why drive further than you have to?”
Really? Did you taste their King Cake? The King Cake recipe McKenzie used, thankfully, died with them when they went out of business. Whatever they did to their king cakes extracted every molecule of moisture from them. They must have made and left them in a room with a dehumidifier for 50 weeks prior to Mardi Gras in order to get them to that level of tastelessness. Whatever moisture there was in the original food colored sugar and dough was completely eliminated. Their king cake, once in your mouth would attack and adhere to all wet surfaces trying to rehydrate.
One Mardi Gras my grandfather bit into a McKenzie slice of king cake and it immediately attached itself to the roof of his mouth, back of his throat, and went right up his nasal cavity seeking moisture. It had the same effect, he would later describe as “having the wind knocked out of you.” As his face was turning the same color as the purple sugar, my grandmother gave him the Heimlich, and it caused him to convulse spraying purple, green and gold sugar out of his nose.
Sorry McKenzie, you were good with do-nuts but awful with King Cakes.
Do you have a good King Cake story? Where to you get your favorite King Cake?
Happy Mardi Gras!