The Rich History and Taste of Mardi Gras

| 3/4/2011 11:29:37 AM

S.CollinsIn French, Mardi Gras means Fat Tuesday, literally. Everyone has heard about the big, colorful, and tasty, celebrations in the beautiful French Quarters of New Orleans. However, most people don’t know the rich, and religious, history of Mardi Gras. It isn’t only about the party.

Let’s start with the basics. Mardi Gras occurs 47 days before Easter Sunday and is always on a Tuesday. Mardi Gras celebrations first arrived in the United States in the late-1600s as a French-Catholic tradition. The three traditional colors are purple, gold and green, which represent justice, power and faith. Although Mardi Gras is not a nationwide celebration, there are many spots to celebrate. Take New Orleans for example. It is well-known that New Orleans is the center of all Mardi Gras festivities.

Now, let’s get to the good part: the food! Fat Tuesday refers to the day before Ash Wednesday, which represents the start of Lent in Catholicism. Essentially, Mardi Gras is the last day to indulge yourself before the 40 days of Lent begin. This explains why foods related to Mardi Gras are so rich and delicious.

Here are a few traditional Mardi Gras foods with an herbie twist.

King’s Cake is a popular dish during Mardi Gras. The sweet pasty was created to use up the extra lard, sugar and fruit before lent. There are many varieties of this cake all of which serve the same purpose of enjoying oneself with flavor.

Try out our King Cake with Calendula. It's a lightly sweetened yeast bread decorated with thin frosting and bands of colored sugar crystals.