Where To Find Rosca De Reyes In LA
Did you think the winter holiday season was over? Haha. Sunday 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. Full Disclosure: I know nothing about this holiday, as I know nothing about most holidays that involve Jesus Christ, but I know that I like to eat. And on Kings Day, people eat a round cake known as rosca de reyes (kings' bread).
Shaped like a ring or a crown, this large, bready cake is decorated 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 toy in it has to host a feast, preferably with tamales and atole (a warm, corn-based drink sometimes made with chocolate), on February 2, the Day of the Candles.
Where do you get such a cake if you don't plan on baking one yourself?
Try a Northgate Gonzalez Market. Its 40 Southern California locations sell more than 60,000 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 fillings are guayaba and cheese or pineapple and cajeta. (You'll need to pre-order the filled cakes 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.
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 Friday, January 4 for pick up on Saturday, January 5 or by Saturday, January 5 for pick up on Sunday, 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.
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