Can I Get Some King Cake, Please?

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I don't know about you, but my life changed significantly after I watched The Wire by David Simon. So when he began working on Treme, a series about New Orleans post Hurricane Katrina, I was itching to watch it. Thanks to the introduction of HBO GO, I am finally immersed in Treme, now in it's third season.  While the show follows the stories of several key character's struggles and triumphs, it also spotlights the dynamic, colorful culture of New Orleans which includes a lot of great music and of course; FOOD. Naturally, I have picked up a few culinary curiosities from it.

One of those curiosities was the King Cake which appears numerous times in the series. From what I could see, it was an amply glazed, sparkly, gigantic donut of green, purple, and yellow. Who doesn't want to eat that?!?

When Harvest Restaurant advertised their own version of King Cake on Facebook, I was frantically texting friends and urging them to meet me there in search of a little plastic baby. What's that you ask? A plastic baby? Yes, King Cakes have a plastic baby, supposedly to represent Baby Jesus, nestled somewhere in their sweet yeasty ring. Scoring the little plastic Baby Jesus usually comes with a prize or privilege of some kind. In this case, it was a free Harvest t-shirt. 

To our chagrin, our mini King Cake wasn't a winner and we saw no plastic baby. However, paired with a Sazerac and other delicious food off Harvest's special Mardi Gras menu (available until February 12th), it was a great meal and evening. 

Your King Cake experience doesn't have to be at Harvest, a simple Google search will present you with a multitude of recipe options.  Don't forget to add the baby! You may want to wait until after it comes out of the oven. Melted plastic baby toys are not an ideal condiment for a King Cake. 

Gumbo from Harvest's Mardi Gras Menu