Thousands of Mexicans on Wednesday tasted a piece of a nearly 10-ton "rosca de Reyes" cake that the authorities of this capital shared with the public to close out the Christmas festivities for 2011.

This traditional cutting of the rosca, the largest in the world, is aimed at fostering healthy family coexistence but, above all, it allows us to strengthen the city's economy and promote the preservation of more than 35,000 jobs in the baking industry.

- Marcelo Ebrard, Mayor

Early Wednesday morning, the huge ring-shaped cake was placed on the Zocalo, Mexico City's giant central square, where pieces of it were passed out free to anyone who came to the spot.

Mayor Marcelo Ebrard was in charge of cutting the cake, which was 720 meters (2,340 feet) long and cost more than 1 million pesos ($71,400) to make.

"This traditional cutting of the rosca, the largest in the world, is aimed at fostering healthy family coexistence but, above all, it allows us to strengthen the city's economy and promote the preservation of more than 35,000 jobs in the baking industry," said Ebrard during the event.

Children, women and elderly citizens were the first to receive a piece of the traditional cake, along with a glass of milk.

The president of the Canainpa baking industry association, Francisco Galindo, told Efe that more than 2,000 people worked to prepare the gigantic cake.

The project required 5,405 kilograms (about 11,900 pounds) of flour, 3,000 kg (6,600 lb.) of butter, 240 kg (528 lb.) of yeast, 2,600 kg (5,720 lb.) of sugar, 659 kg (1,450 lb.) of powdered sugar, 33 kg (73 lb.) of baking flour and 70 kg (154 lb.) of salt.

In addition, 1,200 kg (2,640 lb.) of candied fruit colored green, white and red - the colors of the Mexican flag - were used.

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