January 5, 2017

Embrace the Gras

Mardi Gras literally translates to “Fat Tuesday,” but what’s that all about?

Today, Mardi Gras is known for the pomp and pageantry of Louisiana’s parades, but the meaning of Fat Tuesday goes back to long standing Catholic traditions. For forty days and forty nights before the celebration of Easter, Catholics take part in a time of fasting, reflection and penitence known as Lent. Before entering this time of solemnity though, you have to have one good party first. Fat Tuesday was literally the day that your family would enjoy all of the fatty, indulgent foods you would give up in observation of the Lenten season. In Houma, this day of decadence has been spread out to the festive celebration that we now call Mardi Gras.

For the best way to enjoy the butter and sugar you’ll give up during Lent, try the crowned jewel of Mardi Gras sweets – King Cake. Traditionally made with a sweet pastry dough, rolled with cinnamon and topped with royal icing and colored sugar, this dessert has evolved in many different ways. Visit a bakery, grocery or even donut shop in Houma and you are sure to get a delicious bite with a unique twist.

For a taste of the traditional, visit Rouse’s Supermarket. At Rouse’s, cinnamon dough is twisted, proofed and baked to perfection before being topped with sweet icing and decorations. With one taste, you’ll know why Rouse’s Supermarkets baked 300,000 king cakes in 2015. For the added pleasure of your sweet tooth, try out the king cakes at Cannata’s Market. Here, the traditional king cake gets stuffed with one of over 60 different fillings, including Amaretto cream cheese, brownie parfait and snickerdoodle gooey butter.

Bertinot’s Best Bakery in Houma is putting their own twist on king cake- literally. The traditional cinnamon dough is tossed out for a Cajun favorite, chix de femme. For those unfamiliar, chix de femme is a slightly sweet pastry named for it’s resemblance to a lady’s twisted hairstyle. To try another alternative king cake, head over to Mr. Ronnie’s Donuts. Here, cinnamon donuts (king cake’s deep fried cousin) are fried, iced and decorated in Mardi Gras fashion.

To get a look at these local favorites, visit our YouTube channel to watch our king cake series.

If you’re not currently in Houma, Louisiana, each of these bakeries will ship a king cake right to your door. However, king cake is always best when enjoyed at a Mardi Gras parade. Visit www.houmatravel.com to plan your trip today!

Let’s bring on the king cake. Have you tried king cakes before? What’s your favorite?