Carnival Season

  • October 10, 2020
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The Christmas holidays are behind us and we in Louisiana are heading right into the Carnival season which begins January 6 or Twelfth Night when the King’s Cake or Gateau du Roi is customarily served.  It was first served to celebrate the visit of the Christ child by the three Magi but now it officially opens the Carnival season---a fest of drinking, eating and merrymaking. The word Carnival is from the Latin carne (meat) and vale (farewell).  Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday.  Knowing that the next day after Shrove Tuesday is Ash Wednesday, which opens the Lenten season, a time of fasting, everyone is prepared to stuff himself with all the good things our state has to offer. Even before the Christmas decorations are put away King Cakes appear in supermarkets, bakeries and convenience stores.  Years ago, a small coin or token, perhaps a bean or pecan half was hidden in the cake.  Whoever finds the treasure (these days it’s usually a tiny ceramic or plastic baby doll) is to host the next King’s Cake party the following week.  The ring-shaped cake is usually decorated with sugar tinted in the classic carnival colors of green, gold and purple symbolizing Faith, Power and Justice.  The original cakes were made of a simple but rich yeast dough.  Today many of them are filled with cream cheese, cinnamon, pecans and a host of other sweet delights. During the time leading up to the big day, Mardi Gras, there are parties, parades, balls and numerous soirees at which a wide assortment of gastronomic delights ranging from dainty canapés and finger sandwiches to hearty gumbos and jambalayas are enjoyed. No matter where you live, you too can get into the Carnival spirit.  Order your king cakes NOW. For before and after parade parties, whip up a batch of jambalaya.  Try one of our prepared mixes or make it from scratch.  Make a gumbo of chicken and sausage, or one with seafood.  And don’t forget the andouille sausage!  You’ll need plenty of that for both jambalaya and gumbo. Another thing you can do with andouille sausage is make po-boys.  Grill the sausage, split open a loaf of French bread, dress it with Creole mustard or dab it with warm Jack Miller’s barbecue sauce, and tuck in the sausage---you’ll be very happy.  Serve the sandwiches with lots of Zapp’s Potato Chips or this great, colorful pasta salad.

sausage , lent , chicken , carnival

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