King Cake, prized treat for Mardi Gras, photo by Stan Dotson
If you live in Louisiana, you start working your way to Mardi Gras on January 6, the Twelfth Night (feast of Epiphany)--and keep it going until Mardi Gras aka Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday, which is March 8th this year. But if you live in Oakland, even though you have a host of places you can go to spend money to eat and drink (see list below), it's just not quite the same thing.
However, thanks to a small group of neighbors in the Dimond District, Oakland's ability to savor Fat Tuesday just got a little stronger. What am I talking about? La Farine Bakery is making authentic New Orleans Mardi Gras King Cake!
King Cake is a yummy hot mess of dough that starts with a giant cinnamon-roll style dough, but then gets decked out, as so many things at Mardi Gras do, in an extravagant explosion of colored icings, sprinkles and glazed sugar. Oh yes, and there's often a Baby Jesus inside--and if you get that slice, tradition says its now your job to buy the galette(cake) for the next party!
Of course, I didn't know that. Not till I read a post on the Dimond list serv where one of the neighbors was wishing for King Cake, just like at home. And another neighbor wanted to know what that was, and another, and soon there were a flurry of people wondering just how good a taste of King Cake might be, given how they'd love to try it out.
And that's when Stan Dodson, operations manager of bakery La Farine and manager of the Dimond store, sprang into action. Participating in the banter on the list, he told the group that because of their interest, the La Farine Bakery (in Dimond only) would be accepting King Cake orders for Mardi Gras for the first time ever. Well, what do you think happened then? 15 locals Dimond folk ordered the cakes within one hour of his email going out.
Stan says, "This has been a fun, spur of the moment item to sell at La Farine. You can bet on La Farine making King Cake available in all four locations next year!"
If you want a King Cake of your own, you can order them through Tuesday---For those who are intrigued, La Farine's King Cake cake serves 10+ people and costs $14.
As of Sunday night, Stan said he had already sold 40 cakes. Is this the start of a new Oakland tradiiton?
Where to get King Cake in Oakland
La Farine Bakery in Dimond
3411 Fruitvale Ave
Where to whoop in up for Fat Tuesday (and get your drink on)
Anyone have special plans for Mardi Gras? Let us know.