The King Cake tradition is loosely associated with post-Christmas, pre-Lenten religiousness… though it’s probably just a particularly hollow excuse to eat tasty cake.
So there is a cake — as flaky as a croissant, with almond paste — with a figurine baked into it. (Although in America, it’s illegal to sell food with non-edible objects in it. Did you know that the stickers placed directly on the skin of produce are edible? The King Cake we purchased had the figurine on the side and Mr. P had to stick it into a piece after slicing it.)
After the cake is sliced, the youngest person must abscond under the table. “Who gets this slice?” the young’un will be asked as a slice is designated, and a person will be named, and the person gets that slice. After all the slices are handed out, everyone begins eating and the person with the figurine is the King for the year, and gets to wear a paper crown that is not unlike the Burger King crown.
We’ve been to various King Cake parties, mostly in France if we stay past Christmas well enough into January, as the cakes are not sold until after the New Year. We actually had a King Cake party at our house three years ago, with about 15 people and two giant cakes. But yesterday we had our own private one.
Mr. P brought the King Cake on Friday, cut it in half, and proceeded to eat 2/3rds of the half for dessert. I ate the other 1/3rd of the half for a pre-run snack the next morning. So we had a half cake left for the whole figurine thing.
Little Boy got under the table and named who got each piece. Of course, I ended up with the runt piece! And the piece without the figurine… that ended up on Little Boy’s plate. He spotted it even before he started eating.
Our little King!