Meet the Louisiana Man Who Sampled More Than 100 King Cakes This Mardi Gras Season

Brendon Oldendorf is a man on a mission.

Brendon Oldendorf King Cakes
Photo: Brendon Oldendorf

Between January 6 and March 1, New Orleans-native Brendon Oldendorf ate 106 king cakes from 80 different bakeries across the South. Why, you ask? Perhaps a better question is, why not?

"To me, there is nothing more quintessentially Mardi Gras than a king cake," Oldendorf wrote in an essay for USA Today. "I normally eat 10 or so in a season, but this year I wanted to do it bigger than ever before."

Oldendorf's culinary quest started when he met author Matt Haines at a king cake sampling event. Haines, who recently published The Big Book of King Cake, revealed he had once eaten more than 80 king cakes in a single season.

"I was inspired and set off to try at least 100 different cakes and share them with my family and neighbors," the father-of-four wrote.

Brendon Oldendorf King Cake
Brendon Oldendorf

From Houston to the Florida Panhandle, Oldendorf ate, and ate, and ate some more. He tried doughnut king cakes, Chantilly cream king cakes, cannoli king cakes, muffuletta king cakes, and praline king cakes. Sweet cakes, savory cakes, and everything in between. In total, he sampled king cakes from four different shops in Texas, three in Alabama, five in Florida, 11 in Mississippi, and 57 in Louisiana.

"Everyone brings something a little different to the table," he noted.

Picking a favorite was hard, but in the end, he went with the baked Alaska king cake from Angelo's Bakery in Metairie, Louisiana.

"The ice cream in the center of the gorgeous king cake really hits the spot!" Oldendorf said.

WATCH: The Real Meaning Behind the King Cake

Along his journey, Oldendorf learned that he doesn't just love king cake, he "really loves king cake." Next year, he pledges to up the ante, with a goal of tasting at least 150 cakes and visiting more than 100 bakeries.

A noble quest indeed!

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