While Cajun- and Creole-inspired fare is not uncommon in Pensacola throughout the year, it gets a special emphasis during Mardi Gras. Everywhere you look, you’ll find stores and restaurants offering traditional favorites such as red beans and rice, jambalaya, gumbo and especially the season’s must-have dessert, King Cake. This flaky pastry, typically covered with purple, gold and green sugar — the colors of the season — is unique for the tradition of secreting a small plastic baby doll somewhere in the cake. Superstitions differ on the significance of finding the baby in your piece of cake — some say it symbolized luck and prosperity, while others say it becomes the finder’s responsibility to purchase the next cake and/or to throw the next party. Either the way, there’s plenty to eat and drink, and you should take advantage since Fat Tuesday calls carnival season to an end and marks the beginning of Lent on Ash Wednesday, when believers are supposed to give all of that up until Easter Sunday. So you’d better pack in all the fun while you can!
For more on Mardi Gras in Pensacola, visit visit pensacolamardigras.com, which features a complete seasonal calendar of events and links to every known krewe in the Pensacola area. Happy Mardi Gras season! Laissez les bons temps rouler!