In its traditional presentation, the celebrated Mardi-Gras-season New Orleans King Cake contains a small concealed figurine of a baby which someone gets as part of their slice; the lucky recipient then has to throw the next party or buy the next cake. Back in Feb. 2002 we ran an item, quoting columnist James Lileks, on how purveyors of some store-bought King Cakes no longer were willing to conceal such a figurine, tradition or no. For a discussion of King Cakes, including a picture of what one looks like, check Blawg Review #90, just published the other week at Minor Wisdom.
Now the New York Times introduces us to what is apparently the original French version of the cake, a flat round galette, also served during Carnival and also concealing a good-luck figurine. Don’t expect to encounter this delicacy in American stores, however, for reasons readers of this site will easily anticipate:
Alexandre Colas recalled that he once met a baker from Syracuse, N.Y., at a trade show in Paris, who at first showed interest in buying porcelain favors for his baked goods but later backed off. “He said there were too many legal issues,” he said.
(John Taglibue, “3 Lands of Orient Compete With French Holiday Favors”, New York Times, Jan. 17).