In the Coachella Valley, bakeries are working tirelessly to supply the traditional "Kings' Cake," or Rosca de Los Reyes, ahead of Three Kings Day.
Many families will break them to celebrate the Three Kings Day on Thursday. The breaking of the rosca is one of the first traditions of the year for many families, like Gonzalo Gonzalez's family.
"The rosca means a lot in our family, mainly because we bring the whole family together," Gonzalez said.
The Rosca de Reyes is an oval sweet bread. According to tradition, the rosca is a bread of love, happiness and hope. Inside the bread is a small doll that represent baby Jesus. The person who gets the doll has to host a party on Día de la Candelaria, or Candlemas, on February 2.
On Wednesday, Gonzalez was one of many people who stopped by the 'Mi Tierra' bakery in Coachella to pick up his rosca before January 6. He ended up buying two.
"You know that in this country, some are far away, others are here, and well we continue to maintain the tradition of the kings, of the doll and just being all in family," Gonzalez said.
This bakery has been preparing the bread, loaded with dried fruit, for many families in the east valley for seven years now.
"These days we know they are heavy days to go to work but it is our best day of the year," said Esteban Rodriguez, one of the owners of the bakery.
Rodriguez said that they started getting the necessary ingredients to meet the demand for roscas about two months ago.
"Because they have been running out since November and we have to have the inventory in stock to decorate the roscas," Rodriguez said.
The process of preparing the special bread is not simple and involves a lot of patience. After mixing the dough and making the wheel, the bakers hide several little dolls.
The rosca is decorated with dried fruits, like papayas, and yam bean. The bread is put in the oven for 45 minutes before it is finally ready. Rodriguez said that the elaboration of the beloved bread, from the preparation of the dough to its packaging, takes about 4 hours.
He shared that they expect to sell more than 2,000 roscas this season.
"We have to put our heart into it so that people have a rosca on their table," Rodriguez said.
On Thursday, families will gather around the table and enjoy the traditional sweet bread. Gonzalez hopes that he will be the one to discover one of the figures on his slice of rosca.
"Well, you say no to the doll, right, but I really hope the doll comes out so the family can get together again with the tamales," Gonzalez said.