The Ubiquity of King Cake

King cake and COVID-19 are both inescapable right now, and I don’t want either one.

King Cake For Mardi Gras

It’s a frequent lament in this city that king cake season, starting on Jan. 6, is pure sabotage for anyone trying to start the new year off with a resolution to eat healthier.

I get it. I don’t even particularly like king cake, but if it’s there – and it’s always there, in the break room, in the breakfast nook, at a friend’s house – I’ll idly carve off a piece and eat it with my morning coffee or as an afternoon snack when I’m more bored than hungry.

Right now, in my home, the home of someone who doesn’t even particularly like king cake, we have the ends of a Rouses king cake going stale (I sent it with my daughter to school after she got the baby, but it got sent home again because it wasn’t made in a nut-free facility and there are kids with allergies in her class); a thickly frosted Randazzo’s, which is Ruby’s preference; and a sticky but simple Hi Do one, which Georgia likes best.

Of course there are king cake milkshakes and king cake lattes on offer all over town, and even savory options such as muffuletta king cake and boudin king cake and, God help me, sushi king cake. (I’d prefer all three of the savory choices over king cake, but I do not actually consider them king cake.)

Rest assured, I’m not actually eating healthy. I’m not crunching on celery sticks and sipping LaCroix while my kids eat sugar-soaked cinnamon bread. It’s just that my Carnival calories of choice are salt- and/or alcohol-based: Popeyes, Zapps, finger sandwiches, beer, Bloody Marys (both alcohol and salt!).

I don’t know yet if I even plan to go to parades – probably not because the risk:reward ratio just isn’t in its favor this year, at least not for me – but I definitely plan to eat fried chicken and drink Bloody Marys as much as possible, even if I’m doing so from the comfort of my sofa and not on the sidewalk side of St. Charles.

But king cake? Help yourselves, but I’ll pass.

I mean, unless it’s in the break room. And then, yeah, sure. Maybe just a little slice …

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