Tasting New Orleans

How the Mardi Gras King Cake Came to Represent the Crescent City

Illustration by Kristen Solecki.

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Tasting New Orleans

How the Mardi Gras King Cake Came to Represent the Crescent City

by Anthony J. Stanonis, RachelWallace
Southern Cultures, Vol. 24, No. 4: Winter 2018

“‘Sometimes it seems like the entire repertoire of New Orleans cuisine is reduced to king cake and beer during Mardi Gras season.’”

In November 2016, the New Orleans Zephyrs announced a name change after fans of the minor league baseball team submitted over three thousand suggestions to a rebranding contest. “Our goal was to give the baseball fans of New Orleans a team and identity they can call their own,” said Zephyrs President Lou Schwechheimer. “New Orleans is full of traditions woven into the fabric of the city, and this new tradition will be something local and iconic and celebrate what makes New Orleans and Minor League Baseball so great: family and fun.” The team became the New Orleans Baby Cakes with a mascot that brought to life the small plastic baby that’s baked into a king cake—a local delicacy synonymous with Carnival. The Baby Cakes wear purple, green, and gold—the colors of Mardi Gras—and the mascot dons a crown shaped like the popular oval cake.

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