Indy bakery talks Fat Tuesday preparations, rise in day’s popularity

Taylory's Bakery Fat Tuesday king cake
One of hundreds of king cakes prepared at Taylor's Bakery for Mardi Gras. (WISH Photo/Drew Blair)

INDIANAPOLIS Ind. (WISH) – It’s Fat Tuesday, and preparation for the day known for indulgence started well before Tuesday for bakers at Indiana’s oldest bakery.

Workers at Taylor’s Bakery in Indianapolis arrived Monday to start the overnight preparation of 500 “king cakes” and more than 6,000 paczki, the two pastries most traditionally sought after during Mardi Gras.

Taylor’s Bakery is a family business, owned by brothers Drew and Matt Allen. They have witnessed recent growth in the holiday’s popularity and say that five years ago the holiday wasn’t as popular as it is now.

When customers buy a king cake they get a kit that includes Mardi Gras beaded necklaces, a small plastic baby and an explanation of the French origin of the dessert. The three different colors stand for justice, faith and power.

Fat Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday. It is also known as Mardi Gras Day or Shrove Day. It is a day when people eat all they want of everything and anything they want as the following day is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of a long fasting period for Christians. Whoever gets the baby gets luck for that one year but they buy the king cakes the following year.

Taylor’s Bakery has been in business for 102 years.