Rosca’s Are a Borderland Favorite But It Has a Clone in the King Cake
Another Día de Los Reyes has come and gone in the Borderland and this year, thankfully, I didn't get the baby!
All across the Borderland, many were on the hunt for a Rosca, and I was one of them- were Rosca's always this expensive?! We finally found one and this was finally the year that I didn't get the baby in my cake- that's right, there was a baby in the cake!
If you're unfamiliar, Día de los Reyes happens on January 6th. For that holiday, we eat Rosca- an oval shaped cake to resemble a crown that is decorated with dried fruits and candy. In the cake, there's a miniature figure of a baby Jesus. Whoever gets the baby Jesus in their piece has to host a family dinner- usually with tamales.
While the memories of Rosca's are all that remain, and if you're looking to continue eating something that is Rosca-adjacent, there is a similar tradition down in New Orleans- it's called a King Cake!
This is a King Cake- as you can see, it's very similar to Rosca.
According to Oprah's website, they consider Rosca "king cake's older Latin cousin". A King Cake is typically eaten during "Carnival Season":
...Which kicks off January 6 on the Christian feast of Epiphany that's also called King's Day or Three King's Day. New Orleans residents, and other Mardi Gras enthusiasts around the country, munch on them in the weeks that follow up through Fat Tuesday/Mardi Gras Day.
Mardi Gras this year lands on February 21. The King Cake is topped with decadent frosting and sprinkled in the colors of Mardi Gras- green, purple and gold.
King Cake is very similar to Rosca, except this is eaten past January 6- and instead of having to make tamales for February 2 (Día de la Candelaria)- if you find the baby in your King Cake piece, you are crowned king or queen! That sounds way better than having to make tamales!
If you're looking to continue the tradition of King Cake for Mardi Gras, or you're looking to start a new tradition, Cinnaholic in El Paso is heavily recommended for a King Cake!