Now You Can Eat with Pope Francis … or At Least Cook His Favorite Dishes

Swiss guards proceed out of St. Peter’s Basilica on March 12, 2013, at the Vatican. RNS photo by Andrea Sabbadini/RNS.

They say you can feast like a king, and now you can eat like a pope after a young chef from the Vatican’s Swiss Guards published a cookbook featuring the favorite recipes of Pope Francis and his predecessors.

David Geisser, 24, who joined the elite Vatican security corps only a month ago, released his book, titled “Buon Appetito,” in Rome on Oct. 21.

The cookbook includes recipes for Francis’ favorite dishes, such as empanadas; roast sirloin, known as “colita de cuadril”; and “dulce de leche,” a milk-based Argentinian dessert that began appearing on Vatican dining tables when the archbishop of Buenos Aires was elected pope last year.

But it also features one of St.  John Paul II’s favorite dishes, Polish pierogi, or stuffed dumplings, and Bavarian delicacies favored by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

Recipes favored by the Vatican’s secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, include gnocchi Vatican-style, while the prefect of the papal household, Monsignor Georg Gaenswein, likes veal saltimbocca alla Romana.

“A soldier can only fight and wage war when he has eaten well, and enough,” said Daniel Rudolf Anrig, the head of the Swiss Guards. “In Italy the cooking is the best in the world.”

The book also pays tribute to the dishes favored by the patron saints of the Swiss Guards and includes the guards’ mealtime prayers.

The book was published in German this week. An Italian version is expected to be published next year.

Josephine McKenna has more than 30 years' experience in print, broadcast and interactive media. Based in Rome since 2007, she covers all things Vatican for RNS. Via RNS.

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