New Orleans Thief Steals 7 King Cakes From Bakery in Very Mardi Gras Way

New Orleans, Louisiana — With their purple, gold and green colors and toy babies hidden inside, king cakes are staples of Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans, but apparently they’re also valuable enough to steal — at least this time of year during the Carnival season.

A thief stole seven king cakes — about as many as he could carry — during a break-in last week at a New Orleans bakery. The thief also took cash and a case of vodka from Bittersweet Confections last Wednesday, according to the New Orleans Police Department.

“Our king cakes are just that good,” the bakery wrote on social media. “But please come and purchase one during our regular store hours.”

While it’s a secular celebration, Carnival in New Orleans — and around the world — is strongly linked to Christian and Roman Catholic traditions. The season begins on Jan. 6, the 12th day after Christmas, and continues until Mardi Gras, known as Fat Tuesday, which is the final day of feasting, drinking and revelry before Ash Wednesday and the fasting associated with Lent.

King cakes are among the foods most associated with Carnival in New Orleans. The rings of pastry are adorned with purple, green and gold sugar or icing, and they often have a tiny plastic baby hidden inside as a prize.

One wisecracker responded to the bakery’s social media post with a tongue-in-cheek false admission that he was the thief.

“It was me. …I’m holding all seven babies hostage until I get a lifetime supply of King Cakes from you every year,” the man posted.

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