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King Cake Parties

As a kid in New Orleans, every Mardi Gras we delighted in what we
called "King Cake Parties." The cake was a circular coffee cake,
decorated with sprinkles in Mardi Gras colors (gold, purple and
green) and inside was baked a little porcelain baby. Whoever had
the piece with the baby was crowned, and gave the next party.
They still have this tradition in New Orleans, but the babies are
now plastic and the decorations on the coffee cake even fancier.

My sister and her husband who come to Paris nearly every year at
Mardi Gras time, often bring us a cake, so that some favored
traditions may never end! I hope this year isn’t any different.

When I first came to France, I discovered where the tradition
actually originated . . . as the Galettes des Rois for the
tradition of Epiphany, eaten after New Year’s, much like the
coffee cake and also baked with a baby inside.

At one time, a bean was used so the little baby is still called
"la feve." The person who finds it is crowned during the party,
and must then pick a king or queen, and put the toy in a glass.
Everyone raises their glasses and applauds. Tradition says that
the next party should be at the king’s expense. (Guess that’s why
New Orleans took on the tradition so readily–any excuse for a

The best Galette des Rois I have ever eaten came from Ladurée,
made with almond paste and apricots. For a rich and delicious
chocolate garnished galette, try one at La Maison du Chocolate.
Picard sells them frozen, (which is less expensive) and they’re
very good indeed. If you get very energetic, make one from
scratch by buying a "Croustipate" kit at your local supermarché.

And if all else fails, join us tomorrow night at Parler Parlor
for our annual King Cake Party, where the cake and drinks are
compliments of the house.

Here’s hoping you luck out, get the baby and will be king or
queen for the day . . . bon appétit,

email: mailto:[email protected]



Written by the young and talented Elizabeth Reichert, it’s
120 pages of pure gold . . . information and resources for
writers of all kinds who want to spend time exercising their
intellectual writing skills and creative juices right here in
Paris, where literary life began.

Part one deals with a comprehensive history of literary Paris,
the logistics of living here and the literary
community you will meet when you arrive. Part two is all about
the real work of writing and publishing your work, including real
live stories from those who made it.

Through her own experience of life as a budding writer, Elizabeth
will show you how to become a writer in Paris.

To read more, click here:


Just to get your mouth watering and the gears in your brain
turning over . . . save a week in April 2002 to take part
in our first and ultimate TRAVEL WRITERS WORKSHOP right here in
"gay Paree". We’re bringing the International Living Travel
Writers Course to life and bringing in creator and author of
the course, Jennifer Stevens to teach you everything you need to
know to travel the world–and get paid for it.

Next week, we’ll tell you all the details, but to reserve your
spot now (the sooner the better, as there is limited
participation), send an email to Vicki Lamberis at
mailto:[email protected]


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