Where To Find Rosca De Reyes In LA
This story was orignally published in January 2019 and hse been updated since then.
Did you think the winter holiday season was over? Haha. Monday, January 6, is Three Kings Day also known as Epiphany, a "Christian feast day that celebrates the revelation of God incarnate as Jesus Christ," according to Wikipedia. In Western Christianity, the feast commemorates the day when the magi (aka the Three Wise Men) showed up in Bethlehem to bring gold, frankincense and myrrh to the baby Jesus. To celebrate Kings Day, people eat a round cake known as rosca de reyes (aka kings' bread).
Shaped like a crown or a ring, a rosca de reyes is studded with figs, quinces, cherries and other dried and candied fruits. It also contains a figurine of the baby Jesus. Whoever gets the slice with the figurine in it has to care for the baby until February 2, el día de Candelaria (aka the Day of the Candles), when they host a feast, preferably with tamales and atole (a warm, corn-based drink sometimes made with chocolate), for family and friends.
If you don't plan on baking a rosca de reyes, where can you find one?
Try a Northgate Gonzalez Market. Its 41 Southern California locations sell more than 70,000 rosca de reyes each year. They start selling the original, small rosca just before Thanksgiving. About a week before Christmas, they start selling the cakes in four sizes, and two varieties: original and filled. This year's filling is guayaba and cheese. You'll need to pre-order the filled rosca but you can pick up an original recipe, medium size rosca de reyes, the most popular version, on the fly. Get one ASAP because Northgate stops selling the cake a few days after January 6. (BTWFYI Northgate puts five baby Jesus figurines in their large rosca, three in their medium and one in their small.)
You could also pick up a rosca de reyes at any of the 12 locations of La Monarca, which stretch from Santa Monica to Pico Rivera. The homegrown bakery chain makes the cake from scratch using candied cactus, cookie crust and walnuts. You can get it in two sizes.
Super A Foods, with eight locations in Southern California, always has a broad and colorful selection. The parking lot of the northeast L.A. location is also the parking lot where Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper come up with the song "Shallow" in A Star Is Born.
It's not too late to place an order for your vegan rosca de reyes at Delicias Bakery in Highland Park. Order by 8 p.m. pm on Friday, January 3 for pick up on Sunday, January 5 or Mondsy, January 6. Delicias will also be serving regular roscas from Friday, January 3 through Monday, January 6.
If you're looking for a New Orleans-style King Cake, a close cousin to the rosca de reyes, try New Orleans Sweet Treats in South L.A. They make the cake in three sizes but you will need to order it in advance.