There's a place in Harahan that makes it's living doing catering orders day-to-day and week to week.It started out as a cafe and morphed into the catering business it is today. The business is called Cottage Catering and not only do they do various catering gigs, they also churn out some mean king cakes during carnival season (and a lot of them). Owner John Caluda tells us that Caluda's is currently on pace to crank out 3000 to 5000 king cakes a day. Wow!
Caluda's makes traditional king cakes, filled king cakes and from week to week specialty flavors that you have to scan social media for to know what flavor is next. Hint, hint. This week's flavor will be Bananas Foster king cake. You heard it here first. Other specialty flavors that Caluda's has cranked out include chocolate chip cookie dough, cherry-almond and cookies and cream flavors. One might ask, how do you manage to bake and package 5000 king cakes in a day? Believe me, it is a delicate dance to pull it off. John tells us that timing is everything and also the staff's experience are vital to producing such quantities of king cakes. I can tell you from seeing the process, that John and his crew make the daunting task of cranking out 5000 king cakes look effortless.
One interesting thing about Caluda's approach to king cakes is that traditional king cakes look different than their filled king cakes. A traditional king cake is topped with white icing and purple, green and gold sugar. A filled king cake however, is topped with slightly less white icing and sprinkles. Caluda's cuts back on the icing so folks can see the filling more easily. The traditional cakes are available daily as are selected filled cakes. Those fillings are cream cheese, praline, apple, strawberry and cream cheese, raspberry and cream cheese, praline and cream cheese and the "4 de lis". This is a king cake filled with apple filling, raspberry/cream cheese, cream cheese and praline filling. Now that is one filled king cake!