Two of my favorite Manhattanites arrived in New York by way of Mississippi, and without a doubt I always received the most attention while keeping their company. The harsh staccato of a New Yawk accent was no match for the sweet and syrupy drawl of their “heyy ya’ll”s and “oh mah gawwwh”s, and no matter where I went with them it always turned into a case of all-eyes-on-us.
(And, I should clarify – not that we minded.)
On top of their accents, Katie and Kristen were the best work-allies a girl could ask for. Our trading floor wasn’t exactly teaming with the female persuasion, and to have a few partners in pencil skirts available to dish and gossip with by the water cooler was a very lucky thing, indeed. Though I had visited New Orleans a couple of times before meeting these city-fied Southern belles, I had never experienced a King Cake until a whole one arrived smack in the middle of our office one chilly February morning.
Looking like an oversized Krispy Kreme – covered in a thick gloopy glaze, and dusted in a technicolor pinwheel of purple, green, and yellow sparkling sugars – it didn’t look like anything that would normally appeal to my sweet tooth….but one bite of this cake that was more like a bread, molten in the middle with a cinnamony-sweet filling, and I was enamored.
This particular cake had been specially ordered and flown into our office from New Orleans for these two special ladies in honor of Mardi Gras, and when it was gone – it was gone. King Cake is not exactly something that is sold on every Northern street corner; more cinnamon bun than cake, it manages to touch on all of my favorite dessert flavors: salty, but sweet; rich, but simple. And the most enigmatic thing about this ring-shaped confection? One lucky diner bites into a baby.