All hail the king cake. Beads may not rain from Mardi Gras floats during Carnival in Capitol City as they do in New Orleans, but D.C. bakes up an impressive variety of king cakes—from the traditional French galette des rois to the ring-shaped brioche version emblematic of Carnival season in the Big Easy.
Carnival begins on January 6 (Three Kings Day) each year and lasts until Fat Tuesday, which falls on March 1 this year. According to king cake tradition, the sweet dessert isn’t unleashed until Three Kings Day, and it promptly disappears when Fat Tuesday gives way to Ash Wednesday. All this is to say: There is a very limited time to eat all the king cake available in the D.C. area.
Remember that whoever finds the plastic baby, porcelain fève, or fava bean (a symbol of renewal) in the king cake is both royalty for the day and also responsible for the king cake at the next party. With D.C.-area eateries offering flavors like traditional almond, matcha yuzu, pistachio, and Bavarian cream, there are enough varieties to keep the king cake parties going all season long.
New to king cake? Check out Eater’s king cake primer.
Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.Read More