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    Breaking from Tradition

    Saturday, February 1, 2014


    As long as I've lived and breathed, the only King Cakes I and my family have enjoyed have been those from Haydel's Bakery. Part of it is the Haydel's are family friends. They're wonderful people who pour their hearts into the most delectable pastires. We love supporting them. The other part is that their King Cake are simply the tastiest. Growing up in New Orleans, I'd had others at school and parties and none were nearly as good. It's part of our tradition during the Mardi Gras season to order a few, but this year my parents suggested we try someplace new. In the spirit of the season we agreed. Ordering one from Manny Randazzo's, my parents sent us our King Cake. There were some guilty feelings involved (it felt as if we were cheating), but there was a definite thrill in trying something new.

    Ulitmately it arrived, we opened it, cut slices, and tasted our first Randazzo's King Cake. We couldn't help but compare. Randazzo's smelled exactly like Haydel's. Exactly. It was encouraging and certainly helped whet our appetites. But this is where the similarities ended. Where Haydel's has a beautiful powedering of purple, green, and gold sugars layered atop their iced cakes, Randazzo's used a sparse array of sprinkles. Haydel's icing seems to be the right amount: it's just enough to create a sticky coating for the sugars to attach. Randazzo's was so heavy and thick it was falling off the King Cake as I tried to plate it. The biggest difference, however, and the most important was the taste. Initially, and this surprised us, the taste was similar. Even with the different toppings, the actual cake initially tasted just like Haydel's~it was very good. But there was an after taste we did not expect; a slight lemony flavor. I enjoy lemon in lemon dishes, but not in King Cake.

    My mother called to ask how we enjoyed our Randazzo's, and which one I would like sent for my birthday in two weeks. Without any hesitation I replied Haydel's. Randazzo's was fine, and I am glad we tried a different King Cake. But after four days our Haydel's was gone. Five days after receiving the Randazzo's only three slices have been cut. There is no competition.

    If you want a King Cake during the Mardi Gras season (or in the off-season), order Haydel's. You'll delight in every bite!


    4 Responses to “
    Breaking from Tradition

    Gramspearls said...

    Now I am interested! The only King Cake we have every year is Randazzo'(ever). I think we will order Haydel's this year. I think your opinion and comparison is most appreciated.....you would be somewhat of an expert, in this area! Thank you for sharing your taste recommendations.

    Warmly, Kathleen

    Elizabeth Quon said...

    Good afternoon Kathleen,

    How funny! We've both been eating a certain brand of King Cake for ages and are ready for a taste of something new. Please do give Haydel's a try! It is delicious. I did enjoy Randazzo's, but maybe I'm simply stuck in my ways. Have a lovely Sunday.



    Ruth said...

    I will admit I am partial to the first one I ever had. Though someone picked one up from a local grocery store bakery when I was down 2 years ago that was good.

    Elizabeth Quon said...


    I'm certain there are other delicious King Cakes out there. Goodness knows I'm am totally biased. But you will always be ab le to trust in the quality and taste of a Haydel's King Cake.

    Love you!