Ben & Jerry’s Reveals Its Top Ten Flavors of 2021
December 27, 2021 – 7:11 am | Comments Off on Ben & Jerry’s Reveals Its Top Ten Flavors of 2021

Half BakedThe cookie dough in it is unbaked, but the fudge brownies are baked. It’s literally half baked.Cherry GarciaA fan flavor suggestion. Introduced in 1987; in or near the top three ever since.Chocolate Chip Cookie …

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Epiphany and the Three Kings
January 6, 2022 – 9:31 am | Comments Off on Epiphany and the Three Kings

By Susan McKee
The Road Trips Foodie

OK, foodies: it’s quiz time. Why is the traditional dessert served on January 6 called a king cake?

Those of you who learned about Christian holidays probably mustered up the memory of the Three Kings (or Magi). You know, the three “wise men from the East” who brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to Jesus in Bethlehem 12 days after his birth (do the “12 days of Christmas” ring any bells?).

In eastern rite Christian churches, January 6 is a feast day that celebrates the revelation of God the Son as a human being in Jesus. (The “king” in king cake, thus has a double meaning: the Three Kings who brought gifts and Jesus, Christ the King.)

That’s why, hidden in the king cake is a small plastic baby, representing Jesus. Tradition has it that the person at the 12th Night Party who’s served the piece of the cake containing the baby is obligated to bring the king cake to the next year’s celebration. Of course, the trinket hasn’t always been a baby: the traditional choice is a bean, gilded or not.

January 6 also is the traditional kick-off to the carnival season — that raucous festival in Roman Catholic majority areas that leads up to the austerity of Lent. (Are those brain synapses firing yet?) Yes, carnival comes to an end on Mardi Gras — Fat Tuesday — which is the last day to party and feast until Easter arrives.

In the United States, the place known best for king cakes is southern Louisiana where it’s taken the shape of a dough wreath filled with (typically) cream cheese and festooned with icing and/or colored sugar in the purple, green and gold colors of carnival.

According to European heraldic traditions, the purple represents justice; green, faith, and gold, power. Some sources say that these colors were chosen by Grand Duke Alexis Alexandrovitch Romanoff of Russia during a visit to New Orleans during Mardi Gras in 1872.

Your Road Trips Foodie had a chance to decorate her own king cake during a visit to Louisiana a few years ago sponsored by the Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau. Our little group shoehorned ourselves into the back room of Misse’s Grocery, 106 East Lincoln Street, Sulphur, Louisiana, and set to put the finishing touches on cakes they’d already baked for us.

We used gigantic pastry tubes to insert the filling (most of us chose cream cheese, although there were other flavors, including raspberry and praline) but the most fun came with the decorating. Minimalism is not the goal here, but lavish, over the top embellishments — including Mardi Gras beads in the requisite colors.

There are lots of places in Louisiana that’ll send you a ready-made king cake. Of course, I recommend Misse’s Grocery near Lake Charles (337:527-6924), but other options include Bayou Bakery, Haydel’s Bakery and Manny Randazzo.

Here’s my king cake, boxed and ready for Epiphany feasting!

(Photos and video © Susan McKee)

[Originally published on Road Trips for Foodies January 6, 2013]

Innovative Apple-Growing in Yantai, China
January 4, 2022 – 10:45 am | Comments Off on Innovative Apple-Growing in Yantai, China
Innovative Apple-Growing in Yantai, China

Special to Road Trips for Foodies

Yantai, a coastal city in north China, has been known by its high-quality apple varieties and a history of apple growing for over 150 years. With the label of “Yantai …

“Monumental” Indiana Grown Marketplace
June 14, 2021 – 8:42 am | Comments Off on “Monumental” Indiana Grown Marketplace
“Monumental” Indiana Grown Marketplace

More than 75 farmers, artisans, agricultural partners, and Indiana-based businesses will return to Monument Circle in Indianapolis Friday (June 18, 2021) for Indiana Grown’s fourth annual Monumental Marketplace.
This one-day event will feature everything from locally-grown …

Poke Sallet Celebration Underway in Kentucky
June 4, 2021 – 8:18 am | Comments Off on Poke Sallet Celebration Underway in Kentucky
Poke Sallet Celebration Underway in Kentucky

The 66th Annual Poke Sallet Festival began yesterday and runs through Saturday (June 5, 2021) in Harlan, Kentucky.
And what, Road Trips Foodies may ask, is poke sallet? As Saveur magazine reports: “According to Nicole Taylor, …

“Copenhagen Cooking” Food Festival in August
June 2, 2021 – 8:55 am | Comments Off on “Copenhagen Cooking” Food Festival in August
“Copenhagen Cooking” Food Festival in August

Copenhagen, Denmark, is a world-class gastronomic metropolis. New places constantly sprout everywhere in a city already filled to the brim with fantastic restaurants that attract guests and chefs from all over the world, all of …

Scandinavian Festival in Ephraim, Utah
May 28, 2021 – 8:10 am | Comments Off on Scandinavian Festival in Ephraim, Utah
Scandinavian Festival in Ephraim, Utah

A plentitude of regional food is promised at the Scandinavian Festival Memorial Day Weekend — starting today (May 28, 2021) and continuing tomorrow (May 29, 2021, on the Snow College campus in Ephraim, Utah. The …

Arcadia Broiler Dairy Days in Wisconsin
May 26, 2021 – 8:43 am | Comments Off on Arcadia Broiler Dairy Days in Wisconsin
Arcadia Broiler Dairy Days in Wisconsin

Yeah, it was canceled because of the pandemic last year, but Arcadia Broiler Dairy Days return Memorial Day Weekend for their 67th year.
It takes place Friday and Saturday in the Arcadia Lions Pavilion, 551 Memorial …

Crab Festival in Kodiak, Alaska
May 24, 2021 – 8:30 am | Comments Off on Crab Festival in Kodiak, Alaska
Crab Festival in Kodiak, Alaska

The Crab Festival begins at 5:15 p.m. Thursday (May 27, 2021) in Kodiak, Alaska, with the “Pardoning of the Crab”. This year’s pardoner will be Grand Marshall and City Manager, Mike Tvenge. One special King …

Walleye Festival in Port Clinton, Ohio
May 21, 2021 – 8:09 am | Comments Off on Walleye Festival in Port Clinton, Ohio
Walleye Festival in Port Clinton, Ohio

The 40th Annual Main Street Port Clinton Walleye Festival gets underway Memorial Day weekend at Waterworks Park on the shore of Lake Erie in Port Clinton, Ohio.
An array of free, live concerts, a Kids Fishing …

San Joaquin Asparagus Festival in California
May 7, 2021 – 7:33 pm | Comments Off on San Joaquin Asparagus Festival in California
San Joaquin Asparagus Festival in California

Here comes the 35th annual Asparagus Festival in Stockton, California.
It takes place May 13, 14, 15, and 16, 2021, at the Stockton 99 Speedway, 4105 North Wilson Way, Stockton (in, of course, the San Joaquin …

Chocolate Capital of Southwest France
May 5, 2021 – 8:15 am | Comments Off on Chocolate Capital of Southwest France
Chocolate Capital of Southwest France

Every year the city of Bayonne, France, celebrates chocolate in its continuation of centuries-old expertise handed down through history. This year’s Journées du Chocolat will be May 13, 14, and 15, 2021.
With the onset of …