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Rest in Peace,
Searching for a king cake in Cleveland
Submitted by Evelyn Kiefer on Mon, 02/27/2006 - 13:48.
Tomorrow is not just another Tuesday -- it is Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras! So I thought it would be fun to have a king cake. The West Side Market was the first place I decided to look because there are several great bakeries there. I searched the market Saturday afternoon.No king cakes at Vera's, none at Cake either. The only place that came close was Theresa's (D-6).
Theresa's had Mardi Gras theme petit fours with purple, yellow and green icing and plastic crowns on top.
Theresa's also had Mardi Gras theme cupcakes; yellow cake, white frosting, confetti sprinkles in some variation of the traditional Mardi Gras colors and a plastic favor on top (I thought they were frogs, but now as I look at the photo I think they are Scoobie Doo).
I also visited Lelolai, a Puerto Rican bakery and cafe that is not in the West Side Market, but a few doors North on W. 25th Street. They had plenty of their usual: cookies, sandwiches and flan, but nothing special for Mardi Gras.
Later I checked some less interesting places; Heinen's, Daves, Trader Joes and none of them had king cakes.
Never heard of a king cake? I first learned about them when I visited New Orleans for the first time a few years ago. The cakes are usually a ring of pastry covered with purple, yellow and green sugar or icing. Hidden inside is a little Baby Jesus figure (the king).The average king cake is not particularly delicious, though I made one from an Emeril recipe once that was very rich with a cream cheese filling. The cakes are made after the Feast of the Epiphany (January 6th) and continues until the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday. (The pre-Lent carnival season last several weeks in some parts of the world.) According to tradition, if you find the Baby Jesus in your piece of king cake you have to make or buy the next one, and this cycle continues until Lent begins.
If you have any advice on where to find a king cake locally please let me know!