A Moment Of Epiphany
After you’re done with turtledoves, maids-a-milking, and the other ten days of Christmas, you can celebrate el Día de Reyes (Epiphany) on January 6. Commemorating the day the magi arrived bearing gifts for the infant Jesus, the Day of the Kings is observed in Latin cultures with the making and eating of a rosca de reyes, a sweet yeast bread. Decorations vary, but most likely you’ll see swirls of icing, sprinkles of colored sugar, or pieces of candied fruit, and the usually ring-shaped bread hides a tiny plastic baby, representing the baby Jesus, inside (yes, Louisiana’s Kings Cake is the same thing, with a Gallic twist). According to tradition, if you get the slice of rosca with the baby in it, you’ll be blessed for the year. You will also be required to throw a party on Candlemas, or February 2, which is celebrated as the day that Jesus was presented at the temple and is traditionally the day that candles are blessed in the Catholic Church. Vast quantities of roscas are sold in most Mexican bakeries on and just before January 6. In San Antonio you can find them at both Bedoy’s Bakery locations (210-434-9290), in Dallas at Panadería y Pastelería Cantinflas (214-391-2374), in Austin at La Mexicana (512-443-6369), and in Houston at all the Arandas Bakery locations (713-941-0100) and at La Victoria (713-921-0861). To make your own, try out La Mexicana’s recipe. Either way, have your cake and eat it too. Just don’t swallow the baby Jesus.