HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Mardi Gras season officially started January 6th, 2018 and that means it's time to kick off a few traditions. One being the infamous King Cake.
According to tradition, the colorful, oval dessert is said to have started in France over 300 years ago. It wasn't until 1870s when the treat was brought to New Orleans by the French. However, despite its New Orleans beginnings, the King Cake is no stranger to the Pine Belt.
Jessica Jacobs, owner and pastry chef of the Town Square Café and Bakery in downtown Hattiesburg, says since she opened a little over a year ago, she's sold over 200 King Cakes and she plans to sell more.
"It's very popular during the Mardi Gras season," says Jacobs. "Everyone wants to call and order their King Cake."
The three sugary colors decorated on the cake signify justice (purple), faith (green), and gold (power). The cake is meant to honor the three wise men who went to visit baby Jesus. According to Jacobs, inside the cake, traditionally, is a small plastic baby.
"The baby is supposedly baby Jesus, and he's hiding from the king who is trying to kill him," says Jacobs.
Jacobs says it takes her roughly three hours to make one cake.
According to tradition, whoever finds the baby is crowned king or queen for the day and is responsible for providing the King Cake to the next party.