New Orleans King Cakes date back centuries, with exciting times ahead.

a carnival primer, new orleans king cake

King Cake from Adrian’s Bakery in Gentilly

New Orleans King Cakes

From Twelfth Night to the start of parades, the public face of Carnival is the King Cake. Let’s run down some of the background on this wonderful tradition. Note that this is background, history. Your preferred modern king cake is up to you!

Here’s the YouTube version of the pod. As we’ve mentioned previously, I record the pod using Zoom. It’s wonderful, because Zoom generates audio and video. I like to think the audio version of the pod is more fun, but what the heck.

Show notes

Here’s the PDF of the images, so you can follow along with the audio.

new orleans king cake

The Clay Monument. On 31-December-1869, the Twelfth Night Revelers invited New Orleans to see them pass by the Clay Monument on January 6, 1870. As mentioned in the pod, we’re going to have to do a full episode on the monument’s history. The reason TNR used this landmark as a gathering point was its size. The original monument dominated the three-way corner of Canal, Royal, and St. Charles Streets. Can you imagine this beast of a monument in the middle of modern Canal Street? Perfect place to tell the city, “come see us.” This is a Theodore Lilienthal photo.

new orleans king cakes

Restaurant Antoine: New Orleans’ oldest restaurant, on St. Louis Street, between Royal and Bourbon. Several of the dining rooms at the restaurant are named after Carnival organizations. This is the Twelfth Night Revelers room.



Adrian’s Bakery in Gentilly

Blue Dot Donuts

Bywater Bakery

King Cake Hub

King Cake Hub, located at Zony Mash Brewery, 1464 S. Broad, is a great option for one-stop king cake shopping. You’re looking to have a king cake tasting at the house, or at work? No better way to get a sampling of different styles than here.

CORRECTION: I said North Broad for the location of King Cake Hub at Zony Mash when it should be SOUTH Broad!





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