Want to eat like a pope? A cookbook featuring dishes eaten at the Vatican is set to be released in English after first being released in German in 2014.
In addition to shedding light on the types of meals eaten by members of the Swiss Guard – elite soldiers who protect the pope and the Vatican – author David Geiss dishes on the favourite dishes of the last three popes.
In The Vatican Cookbook: Presented by the Pontifical Swiss Guard, readers learn, for instance, that Pope Francis is fond of classic Argentine dishes such as empanadas (meat, cheese and vegetable-filled pastries), tri-tip steak and has a sweet tooth for dulce de leche, a caramel-like dessert made with condensed milk.
Pope Benedict XVI was partial to German sausage salad, and baked cherries with whipped cream, while Pope John Paul II enjoyed Polish pierogi and apple tarts.
As a former soldier of the Swiss Guard and chef by training, Geiss is well-positioned to reveal the culinary and dietary habits of one of the most elite and elusive military corps in the world.
While the soldiers are all Swiss, meals are prepared by Polish sisters who cook mostly Italian cuisine. Daily meals also tend to be on the richer side, with butter, cream and cheese used in indiscriminate amounts, Geiss told the National Catholic Reporter.
Given the amount of training and energy burned on the job, nor is there any calorie counting or dietary restrictions, he added.
Recipes in the book include everyday meals, holiday dishes and desserts, as well as favorite dishes from the most popular restaurants in and around Rome where the guards like to go on their days off.
Originally published in German as Buon Appetito, Swiss Guard in 2014, The Vatican Cookbook: Presented by the Pontifical Swiss Guard is set to be released in English on April 5.