Mardi Gras' Most Famous Dessert-King Cakes


every January as the rest of the world

settles down after the holidays the city

of New Orleans gears up for Mardi Gras

carnival season is full of parades balls

and its signature dish king cake and one

of the most legendary king cake bakeries

in New Orleans is Gambino's bakery I

have been coming to Gambino's for 50

years at the least I drove an hour and a

half just to get the Gambino's to get

one of their delicious King cakes for

several generations Gambino's has been

baking King cakes for New Orleans and

the rest of the world this our 71st year

in business so we have a lot of

experience we have people that have been

with us 40 years 20 years and the

business of King cakes is big business

in addition to sign the cakes at their

bakery Gambino ships King cakes all over

the world a little seven eight hundred a

day you know this is a pretty good mouth

let's build this up we probably make

about a hundred thousand during Carnival

season so what exactly is a king cake

and how is it made in New Orleans it's a

sweet Danish dough there's cinnamon in

it the traditional cinnamon it's made

from scratch every day so we start out

in the morning by making friends dough

the top we mix it with chop it up on the

table and then we give it a moment of

rest then we start to process it I think

it arrived from the sleep from the

cinnamon roll and it just expanded from

now when it's instead of making a dough

and cutting it off making a little sweet

roll let's stretch it out let's press it

out and make a loop out of it I don't I

don't know where but this is whether you

end up be in NOLA the cake fits right in

with Mardi Gras tradition so it has the

traditional three colors the green

purple and gold and it's faith justice

and power generations of children have

been raised in New Orleans eating cakes

during Carnival season as soon as we get

weaned off of the bottle I mean that's

pretty much you know the next thing to

go in your hand it just is it just is

sharing king cake was a tradition long

before New Orleans became a city the

cakes name comes from a biblical story

of the three wise men visiting baby

Jesus on the twelfth night or Kings Day

celebrated on January 6

today king cake is available between

Kings day and Mardi Gras day the day

before Lent begins the origin of the

king cake itself varies on who you ask

but is most commonly believed have

started in France or Spain and was

popularized during the Middle Ages while

King cake might not have been invented

in New Orleans bakeries across the city

like Gambino's have perfected it there's

different parts of the world that

celebrate carnival but they also have

you know a version of the king cake I

think ours you know we have a lot of

sugar and hard so I think arts is

sweeter I don't think when you go to

Europe or even Mexico it's it's not as

they don't have the icing the sugars on

it Gambino's claim to fame was that they

were one of the first bakeries to

actually fill their cakes we actually

call them stuff because most bakeries

will add the filling on top like that

strawberry they'll just make a regular

king cake add strawberry filling on top

so we actually put the filling inside

the king cake and roll it and then bake

the filling in it so the flavor

generates throughout the entire king

cake instead of just being placed on top

the final and possibly most important

ingredient in a king cake is a plastic

baby baked into every cake so the baby

originally you know was supposed to be

like baby Jesus but basically it

symbolizes like health prosperity you

know you're the king you know it's it's

like the grand prize and the cake before

the baby was popularized many mardi gras

crews would hide a bean in their cake

and whoever ate the piece with the bean

inside would be the king or queen for

that year's Mardi Gras parade today you

can't buy a king cake without a plastic

baby I remember getting the baby a

couple of times when I was a little kid

you know at school it was like oh that

was that was popularity gold that was

pretty cool tradition goes that whoever

finds the baby has to provide the king

cake for the next party

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but after Hurricane Katrina devastated

New Orleans many bakeries including

Gambino's were not sure if they'd reopen

uh it was scary because you wonder if

your I think everybody felt anybody that

had a business here was employed here

you don't you didn't know what your

future was so it was very frightening it

would everything was just really slow

coming back and nobody really knew

really what was going to happen the

city's come back even stronger you know

and better in our people here are just

they're so strong in the years since the

hurricane Gambino's popularity has grown

stronger than ever some of the bakery's

most loyal customers are former New

Orleans residents who didn't come back

to the city after Katrina so they have

Gambino's Kincaid's ship to them

wherever they are in the world you have

to live every day to the fullest because

we just don't know what's going to

happen and I think that's why we

celebrate so big here I think that's

what makes this place so unique to

anywhere else because we just have this

you know joy to view that we love life

in we love our culture and we just want

it to keep going and it's just kind of

something to bring people together for

you know celebration which we like to do

in your --lens

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