What does Benedict XVI eat?
What are his favorite foods?
As native of Bavaria, Joseph Ratzinger should have been eating sausages and sauerkraut and instead he turned out to be just a new discovery for us. As son of a female cook, Joseph has always been a lover of simple dishes, well cooked. They say he likes the Kaiserschmarren, a kind of crepes cut into strips, much loved in South Tyrol and in High Bavaria, but he likes citrus fruits too, which he appreciates the juice and mandarin ice cream. The oranges seem to be his passion, so much so that in the restaurants where he went when a Cardinal, the waiters still remember him for his ordering, and so he was captured with a cup full of orange juice in a documentary aired on History Channel.
From the Holy See, we learn that Ratzinger has breakfast with coffee and milk, bread, butter and jam, sometimes he accepts donuts or cookies that visitors give him as gift. Lunch and dinner are prepared by the so-called “guardian angels”, laywomen who deal with his private apartments, while the kitchen is in the hands of two Apulians. Loredana who does the shopping at the Vatican supermarket and furnishes the fresh vegetables harvested by the Castel Gandolfo gardens. Carmela who is in the kitchen and cooks the cakes more loved by the Pope: strudels, pies, and tiramisu of fruits. Under the guidance of nutritionists and such cooks, the diet could not be different from the Mediterranean one, with plenty of pasta and chicken.
Ratzinger also likes “spaghetti carbonara”. In fact, for many years, when still a cardinal, he ate every day in a nice “eating house”, a stone’s throw from its old Roman house, as the owner of that restaurant say, adding that he also favors the traditional Neapolitan dishes. The “Neapolitan pastiera” never is missing on his table on Easter Sunday. When Ratzinger was a guest of the Archbishop of Naples, the Sisters of the Neapolitan Curia prepared him “spaghetti with clams“, scallops or roast chicken with potatoes, besides the mozzarella. He prefers to drink water or the orange drink Fanta. Anyway, although he loves very much Roman and Neapolitan cuisine, Benedict XVI did not give up his Bavarian origins.
At Christmas, at the Pope’s table were served Knödel, the weiss sausage with sweet mustard and lebkuchen, the typical Bavarian gingerbread. Leaving the walls of St. Peter, when the Pope is on a mission, he must experience the local recipes, like pasta with pesto when in Genoa, or as the weissbier tasted for his birthday in the recent trip to Germany. “Sobriety and no fish” are his only directives, by a cousine “good but simple”.