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Rosca de Reyes, a tradition on the Central Coast

SALINAS, Calif. (KION-TV) This Jan. 6, it's Three Kings Day and many families celebrate it by breaking the traditional "rosca", a decorated artisan bread that wraps up a whole holiday.

"We get together with uncles and aunts, cousins, hot chocolate, cinnamon… Everyone gathers at the table, we break the rosca and whoever gets the child, (pays for) the tamales," commented Elizabeth, who celebrates this tradition.

The child is a ceramic little doll that is baked into the rosca. This tradition dates back to the middle of the 15th century and was brought to Mexico during the Spanish conquest. People gather to break the rosca, whose meaning is to find the Child God, and whoever finds him in the middle of the bread, must present an image of the child and also pay for the tamales or dinner on Feb. 2, the day of Candlemas.

Thousands of families on the Central Coast go to the "3 Hermanos" bakery in Salinas to buy the traditional "rosca".

"I started working about 15 years ago in my brothers' bakery and since then they have been practicing the rosca de reyes, which has been a very nice tradition," said Aljeandro Suárez, an experienced baker.

Telemundo 23 visited this bakery to learn more about the elaboration of the rosca de reyes, an ancient tradition that is shared in honor of the Three Kings, who according to Catholic tradition, honored the baby Jesus in Bethlehem.

Alejandro Suarez explained the steps to cook the rosca:

"The process comes from mixing the dough. After mixing the dough, it is weighed to be precise. From there we make the wheel and from the wheel we start to decorate it; we paint it and start to decorate it with pastries, dried fruits, figs, dried cherries and then we put it in the oven and from there to the outside, to the palate".

Alfredo Sánchez, a worker at this bakery, recommends placing orders in advance, "There is a long line waiting for the rosca, so we have to move fast," he said. "I invite you to come and try the rosca, which is from "3 Hermanos" located at 116 East Laurel Drive.

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Melody Waintal

Melody Waintal is the Digital Content Director for and

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Edgar Olivares

Edgar Olivares is a multimedia journalist for Telemundo 23.


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