NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - It's only one day away - the start of Carnival! For many people, that means the beginning of king cake season, but for area bakeries, the work began weeks ago.
Jacqueline Young, an employee at Cartozzo's Bakery, says, "It's not hard at all, it's wonderful."
At Cartozzo's, 1,000 cakes will be made Thursday alone.
"All day, every day, its non-stop," Young said.
The operation at Cartozzo's didn't just start Thursday. They began baking king cakes to send to grocery stores and for special deliveries the first week in December.
Angelo Cartozzo, Jr. explains, "First you make the dough, then we sheet it out, run it out here on the tables, we fill it with cinnamon sugar, brush it with a little butter."
After being braided, the bread is baked, unless it gets a savory filling.
"We have muffaletta king cake and a crawfish king cake. They're made with brioche bread and they're filled with our traditional crawfish filling," Cartozzo, explained.
For the less adventurous, Cartozzo says, "We have a peanut butter and jelly, we have a red velvet that's really good."
Coming out of the oven, it's time for icing and decorating the cakes.
Making king cakes is a serious business. Cartozzo's like so many other places is stepping up it's game this year with a local delivery service and a pop-up shop on Vets in Metairie. Keeping up with demand is a tall order.
"I won't get much sleep until Mardi Gras is over," Cartozzo, Jr., said.
It's most likely the same at bakeries across Southeast Louisiana, but boy, it's sure worth it!