Though the king cake has historical roots in France, we here in New Orleans like to think we've perfected this delicious Carnival season treat.
The "king cake" takes its name from the biblical three kings. The season for king cake extends from the end of the Twelve Days of Christmas (Twelfth Night and Epiphany Day), up until Mardi Gras, or "Fat Tuesday;" the day before the start of Lent. Some organizations or groups of friends may have "king cake parties" every week through the Carnival season. A trinket, most often now a plastic baby, is hidden in the cake. Whomever gets the piece with the baby must buy the cake for the next party.
The king cake of the Louisiana tradition comes in a number of styles. The most simple, said to be the most traditional, is a ring of twisted bread similar to that used in brioche topped with icing or sugar, usually colored purple, green, and gold (the traditional Mardi Gras colors) with food coloring. In 1972, a small bakery in Picayune, Mississippi, Paul's Pastry, started adding fillings to King Cakes filling - the most common being cream cheese, praline, cinnamon, or strawberry.
Also, some bakers have now taken the liberty to offer king cakes for other holidays that immediately surround Mardi Gras season, such as green and red-icing king cakes for Christmas, red and pink-icing cakes for Valentine's Day, and green and white-icing cakes for St. Patrick's Day. Others have gone a step further and produce specialty king cakes from the beginning of football season for Louisiana State University and New Orleans Saints tailgate parties, then for Halloween, then Thanksgiving - and do not cease until after Mardi Gras season with an Easter holiday king cake. Several markets sell the cakes during the season including Dorignac's. It has become customary in the Southern culture that whoever finds the trinket must provide the next king cake or host the next Mardi Gras party. Basically, we can't get enough king cake in these parts.
Make sure you next King Cake party is indeed fit for a king with one of our King Cake ornaments in traditional purple, gold and green.
Laissez les bons temps rouler!
NOLA Tiles got started when we were looking for something utilizing the street tiles to decorate our newly renovated home post-Katrina. We looked all over the place…Uptown, Downtown, the arts markets, boutiques….you name it, we looked…and we couldn’t find anything at all.
We figured there would be a market for something like this, so we started bouncing the idea off of some friends and family and everyone seemed to think there was potential. Finally, we pitched it to an interior designer friend who owned a home décor shop on Magazine at the time and she told us to work up some samples and bring them in.
We spend many hours researching different methods of creating and designing the tiles before we finally came up with a few products that we were comfortable with. Fortunately, she liked what she saw and placed an order and NOLA Tiles was officially born!
In August 2008, we started out with your run of the mill online store on Etsy (which we still have as it’s good for a few sales a month)…and actually got our first online order while we were evacuated for Hurricane Gustav!
We quickly outgrew that Etsy site, so we launched our own store in May of 2010. Fast forward to October 2012, and we’ve redesigned that site to make it better than ever!
We currently reside in Lakeview with our twin boys and enjoy creating New Orleans inspired items for people all over the globe to display in their homes.
Talk to y’all soon!