What to Know
- Porto's Bakery & Cafes, located in Glendale, Burbank, Downey, Buena Park, and West Covina
- King Cakes are available through March 1, with walk-in or online orders available
When does Mardi Gras season truly begin, if you're not located in New Orleans, where locals have been working on their charming costumes, over-the-top floats, and photo-worthy front yards for several months?
Other signifiers of the season come into play if you're not in the vicinity of Bourbon Street, and one of the merry majors? It is a circular sweet, one festooned with lavish frostings and toppings, a glorious gateau awash in green, gold, and purple.
Oh yes: And there's a tiny plastic baby inside, a lucky and symbolic charm, and the person who finds it? They'll surely feel like royalty.
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It's the King Cake we're shaking our shiny beads over, that timeless Mardi Gras goodie that not only boasts flavor, but fortune, making it the must-eat sweet of the pre-Lenten season.
And one of the go-to spots for this gladdening goodie, around Southern California? It's Porto's Bakery and Cafe, which has become synonymous with the limited-time treat (and, indeed, cakes for all sorts of celebratory occasions).
So get ready to wave your noisemaker, don a feathery mask, and make for Burbank, Glendale, or another Porto's locations, for King Cakes are back on the shelves, just in time for Mardi Gras.
Which is March 1 in 2022, meaning you'll need to dance over to your local Porto's faster than you can throw a handful of pretty beads from a wrought-iron, Bourbon Street-facing balcony.
The cakes, which are "... traditional sweet bread with a touch of orange blossom water filled with a tangy vanilla cream cheese custard and topped with icing, festive crystal sugar," are priced at $17.75 each.
Oh yes: And beads are an all-important topper, too.
But it isn't really about what's on top of a King Cake that people talk about: It's the plastic baby found within. And the finder? They're the king or queen of the party, of the day, or even beyond, if you want to pay further honor to the finder of the hidden bauble.
If you want to swing by for your cake, you can, or you can order online, ahead of time, so it is ready for pick up.
The sprinkly sugar on top, by the by? You know that the hues are central to the holiday: The distinctive spectrum long associated with the late-winter celebration features "green for faith, purple for justice, and gold for power."
Who in your krewe will find the plastic baby, wear the beads, and become royalty this Fat Tuesday? Visit your local Porto's to pick up this colorful icon of the Mardi Gras season now.