Several weeks before the actual Mardi Gras party, New Orleanians purchase King Cakes to share with their fellow students or co-workers. Whoever finds the plastic baby has to bring in the next King Cake for everyone.

Since the unfortunate of bankruptcy of the quintessential New Orleans bakery, McKenzies', a few years ago, it is difficult to find a King Cake in New Orleans that is both tasty and decently priced. So far, no one has been able to produce the sugary pastry as finely and cheaply as the old masters.

Still, there are few bakeries remaining around town that serve up the delicious treat. My personal favorites are Maurice's Bakery, Randazzo's Bakery, and Dorignac's Supermarket in Metairie.