Yesterday, I mentioned my general aversion to holiday traditions, but there is at least one that I like to keep (other than watching certain TV specials): limiting king cake consumption to Carnival season. Sadly, that tradition is being broken right and left this year.
It all started pretty innocuously. I was in the Robert’s grocery store three weeks ago and saw some tell-tale king cake boxes on display. Curious and quietly furious, I marched over to discover that the boxes in question didn’t contain king cakes, per se: yes, the objects were oval-shaped, and they were drizzled in goop and pounds of powdered sugar, but they looked…dirty. Unlike bright, shiny, gaudy Carnival king cakes, these were black, like the mold New Orleanians came home to after living on guest beds, sofas, and floors for six weeks (or more) of their Katrina hurrication. Eventually, I figured out that these were meant to be “Saints cakes”, in honor of our hometown NFL team — which would’ve been much clearer if Robert’s had bothered to lay on some gold frosting like Gambino’s did. Or, you know, if they’d put up a sign.
Anyway: the fact that king cakes had been repurposed didn’t really bother me. I have a friend who leaves her Christmas tree up all year long and decorates it according to the seasons. I see Carnival beads reprinted with corporate logos and tossed out all year long. Carvel’s infamous Cookie Puss secretly doubles as the less-infamous Cookie O’Puss. These things happen.
However, since my first spotting, the whole “Saints” pretense has been dropped, and some of these grocery stores and corner shops are selling “real” king cakes — the kind layered in thick slabs of purple, green, and gold frosting that are, in theory, only available from January 6 through Fat Tuesday. That’s just wrong.
I am glad that our friends at Blog of New Orleans see the error of these ways. Together, we can stop the insanity.
Speaking of: whatever happened to Susan Powter? To judge from her website, she’s either suffering from Alzheimer’s, or she’s writing in Ukranian and Google Translating back to English. Or perhaps she’s chosen to stop everyone else’s insanity by absorbing it — like at the end of The Exorcist when Satan leaves Linda Blair and goes to live in the body of that priest, who promptly defenestrates himself. Either way, something’s off.