Rosca de Reyes, tradition with diversity

By Valeria Bigurra Peñavera

In Mexico there are different varieties of this dish, and we invite you to try them and pick a favorite

Rosca de Reyesor King Cake, is a sweet tradition that many have tried, however few know their true origin.


It's origin is mainly religious, because it symbolizes the biblical passage of the three Magic Kings with the child of God and which is known as Epiphany.

Its oval shape, according to what is known, represents the infinite circle of the love of God, which has no beginning or end, and also has to do with the wreaths of the Magic Kings, and the colorful fruit that adorns it, symbolizes a message of peace, love and hope.

The story behind this delicious dish is based on the faith and sacrifice of three men who followed a star that shone in the sky and led them to Bethlehem, where they arrive to worship the child of God.


This tradition had its beginnings in the Middle Age, and arrived at Mexico during the viceroyalty, introduced in the country by the Spaniards that arrived with the conquest.

The figurine that is hidden inside the Rosca symbolizes the baby Jesus, and currently some bakers have introduced more characters to the mix,thus adding a little personality to this beloved tradition.

Just like with the figurines, many companies and people decide to give a personal touch to the Rosca de Reyes every year, because there are even places where you can get one transformed into pizza, to make your celebration more interesting.


In Mexico we have several types of roscas, the main being the traditional Mexican Rosca de Reyes, which is prepared with egg yolks, orange essence, butter, and is decorated with colorful fruits such as figs, strips of green and red ate, crystallized orange and cherry.

Others have experimented using different types of fillings such as cream cheese, chocolate, hazelnut and chocolate spread, jam and so on.

Also in some places you can get one with wine, which is sweeter, and has a softer bread, which is soaked in wine, and is decorated with nuts and walnuts.


Depending on the person or the bakery where the rosca is purchased, the types can vary a lot, there are even some that sell the Spanish version that is made with vanilla essence, cinnamon, anise, lemon zest and almond flour.

With meat, pizza, vegetarian, and even for your pet , there are endless varieties of this dish, so if this year you want to try something different, look in your city for a place where you can get them or you can even search for recipes and prepare it yourself.



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