Another important part of the celebration is the "rosca de los Reyes" (the ring of the Kings). This is a large, round pastry usually decorated with candied fruit. Baked inside the "rosca" is a small ceramic or plastic image of the Baby Jesus. Families and friends gather together on the night of January 6th to eat the "rosca". Whoever gets the Baby Jesus in his/her slice of the pastry, is supposed to host a supper of tamales on February 2nd (the feast day of "La Candelaria".)
While we were walking around Mérida this evening, we saw many people heading home from the bakeries carrying the large, flat boxes in which the "roscas" are packed.
The bakeries all do a brisk business on Epiphany.
Near the main plaza, there is a "Bisquets de Obregón", part of the chain of restaurant / bakeries found throughout Mexico. The street in front of the restaurant was closed to traffic, and tables had been set out. An announcer was loudly proclaiming that they had the world's largest "rosca"... a rather dubious claim. What was set on the tables was not one enormous "rosca" but slices of laid out to form a huge rectangle.
Even though "Bisquets de Obregón" is far being the country's finest bakery, I figured that this would be a good opportunity for Gail and Wes to sample the pastry. I asked the employee at the table if I could buy three slices. She said "yes", but first I had to pay the cashier who was stationed outside the restaurant entrance. We went over to her, but everything was rather disorganized. She was a soft-spoken young lady, and I could not hear her over the announcer who was going on and on over a loudspeaker about "the world's largest rosca here at Bisquets de Obregón!" Finally I figured out that she was waiting for a cash register and change. After a bit of a wait we were finally able to pay. We received a receipt which we took to the table, where the employee placed our slices in bags.
Gail and Wes took their slices back to the hotel. I will find out tomorrow what they thought of it, and if they had the Baby Jesus in one of their slices.