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Mardi Gras and King Cakes Coming on Fat Tuesday

Get out your beads and prepare for poor decision-making.

Fat Tuesday, otherwise known as Mardi Gras, is just around the corner, and plenty of people in New Orleans and beyond will be celebrating with the help of fatty foods and alcoholic drinks before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. 

Along with colorful parades and outrageous outfits, the holiday started in 1857 has one particularly traditional fatty food to offer: the king cake. Baked in an oval shape with the colors purple, green, and gold  it’s a pastry confection often filled with fruit and cream cheese. A small plastic baby Jesus and some trinkets are part of the fun; they’re baked into the cake.

Whoever gets baby Jesus in their piece of cake can be king for a day. King of what? Your guess is as good as ours, but with hundreds of thousands sold each year, it’s a sweet—and popular—deal.