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Seriously, if the Pope were your invited guest.

Cheese Boy Apr 19, 2008 08:08 PM

The Pope is in town here in New York. If the Pope were your invited guest, what would you serve him for lunch or dinner in your home? I don't foresee the popemobile stopping by anytime soon, but I am curious to learn from CH'ers what *they* think the Pope would enjoy as his specially prepared meal.

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  1. t
    torty RE: Cheese Boy Apr 19, 2008 08:23 PM

    OK- I will bite. I would focus on fresh and local. I would try to include all the major food groups: steamed, sauted, fried, and braised. I think he is Eastern Euro so the braise would be a paprika goulasch sort of thing, the steamed would be a potato or other dumpling, the fried would be onion rings ( just because). Ooops as a saute thin sliced beef with onions and mushrooms in plenty of butter with noodles or bread to sop up the juice.

    1. i
      Isabella RE: Cheese Boy Apr 20, 2008 01:00 AM

      Gumbo, potato salad, french bread with butter.
      Bread pudding for dessert. Simple local fare.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Isabella
        Uncle Bob RE: Isabella Apr 20, 2008 09:03 AM

        He's probably love it....I'd start him of with a double shot of George T Stagg...He'd love that too....

      2. yayadave RE: Cheese Boy Apr 20, 2008 06:42 AM

        It's only fair. If it were lunch, a cold fried egg sandwich. If it were dinner, Mrs.Pauls fish stix, Kraft mac & cheese, and frozen broccoli. It's only fair.

        4 Replies
        1. re: yayadave
          Gio RE: yayadave Apr 20, 2008 07:07 AM

          According to his own specifications, Pope Benedict likes to eat simple, seasonal, not too elaborate a meal. So Dave you might not be too far off the mark, much as I hate to admit it. OTOH Lidia Bastianich planned the following menu for him:
          The Pope's Menu
          On Friday, the pope's dinner at Archbishop Migliore's Manhattan residence began with a simple salad of steamed spring vegetables tossed with an almond vinaigrette: fava beans, string beans, asparagus, and toasted almonds topped with a dollop of warm ricotta drizzled with extra virgin olive oil. Next, the pope and his 52 other guests dined upon Cacio Pepe e Pere, which is ravioli filled with pecorino cheese, and fresh pears served in a cheese and crushed black pepper sauce.

          "The menu also included a risotto, which Bastianich described as "simple and straightforward." It was served with nettles, favas, fresh peas, legumes, and wild onions, with grana padano cheese and extra virgin olive oil. Bastianich decided upon a whole grilled striped bass as the main course. "He loved the idea of fish," Bastianich said. She filleted the bass, seasoning it with coarse sea salt and extra virgin olive oil. The fish was served alongside boiled fingerling potatoes, and a chicory and endive salad with a little mustard vinaigrette. "

          If I were planning dinner for the Pope I'd probably serve:

          Antipasto w/several cheeses, meats, fish, roasted vegetables
          Olive and Fennel Crostini
          Pasta 'ncasciata
          Lamb Shanks on Polenta with a Parmesan Crust
          Braised "Bright Lights" Swiss Chard
          Mixed baby greens, Balsamic dressing
          Amaretto Semifreddo with Chocolate Sauce

          1. re: Gio
            lagatta RE: Gio Apr 20, 2008 07:39 AM

            The current pope isn't Eastern European (that was the last pope, JP2, a Pole): he is Bavarian. I like Bastianich's menu - I'd like it myself.

            Also remember that His Holiness is 81 years old, so overly heavy food would probably not be a good idea.

            Typically Germans go mad for Spargel (asparagus - in Germany it is the white kind but Benedict would also know the green kind from living in Italy), so that is a nice touch.

          2. re: yayadave
            comestina RE: yayadave Apr 20, 2008 08:36 AM

            Yayadave--that is seriously funny.

            1. re: yayadave
              BBettinaB RE: yayadave Apr 20, 2008 03:46 PM

              yayadave, you're on my wavelength except I'd serve him what I eat for my own meals when I decide to get a little fancier than my usual brown rice and veggies - a Wildwood brand original veggie burger, with options for soy cheese and or soy bacon. And of course, pickles and potato salad and an avocado salad with my homemade maple mustard vinaigrette on the side. Condiments would include Vegenaise, Eden organic mustard, and Trader Joe's brand organic Ketchup. To drink: soymilk, or organic coffee or tea, or whatever beer was in house, probably Wolaver Brown, or Sam Smith, or a nice Belgian Abbey beer if he was lucky.

              Now this is not haute cuisine, but with the church's vow of poverty and all I think it might be insulting to offer a pope haute cuisine. Maybe he'd actually rather have the brown rice and veggies, come to think of it.

            2. jfood RE: Cheese Boy Apr 20, 2008 07:45 AM

              Given the calendar jfood would have given the Pope a traditional Sedar:

              Gefilte fish
              Hard boiled egg
              potato and matzah kugels
              apple sauce
              sponge cake with strawberries

              5 Replies
              1. re: jfood
                Catskillgirl RE: jfood Apr 20, 2008 08:33 AM

                And a couple of macaroons dipped in chocolate just to round out the Sedar! You're right, jfood, I'm sure he would have enjoyed your menu just as much as the sea bass.

                1. re: Catskillgirl
                  lagatta RE: Catskillgirl Apr 20, 2008 08:50 AM

                  Well, actually that is a typical North American seder of Eastern European origin. I know German and Austrian Jews, and except for central symbolic or mandatory foods such as matza, their meal is rather different. See Claudia Roden's masterwork for more details, as well as the book (In, From?) Oma's Kitchen.

                  The Last Supper was a Seder, after all...

                  1. re: lagatta
                    Nicole RE: lagatta Apr 22, 2008 08:11 PM

                    What kinds of foods are you thinking of? I'm curious, because I grew up in an Austrian Jewish household and our Seder menu was fairly similar to the one jfood suggested. Traditional Passover food was my first thought, too.

                2. re: jfood
                  plf515 RE: jfood Mar 17, 2013 03:40 PM

                  That's a typical Ashkenazi seder; the last pope (Benedict) might have liked it, especially as "Asheknaz" was a part of Germany.

                  On the other hand, the new pope (Francis) might prefer a Sephardi seder

                  1. re: plf515
                    lagatta RE: plf515 Mar 17, 2013 07:04 PM

                    He is a close friend of the leading Rabbi of Buenos Aires.

                    In Argentina Ashkenazi Jews are probably more numerous than Sephardim, but there is also an important Sephardic community. And the great Argentine poet Juan Gelman (of Ashkenazi origin) wrote beautiful lyrics in Ladino - close to Medieval Spanish, after all.

                    I think the conversation - including thoughtful silence - would be the most important part.

                3. yayadave RE: Cheese Boy Apr 20, 2008 09:15 AM

                  My initial post was just to make a little joke about the meals a lot of people used to eat on Fridays. In reality, I am not such a cook that I would plan a meal for the Pope. But I have some questions. When a European Monarch comes visiting, why do we feel we have to serve European food? Are we Americans still feeling that we have nothing to offer? Why Lidia? Why not an American chef highlighting American food? Why not Maine lobster, Maryland crabcakes, Gulf shrimp, Angus beef, Copper River salmon, American artisanal cheeses and bread, California wine. The man is German. Why not some of the new American beers? How about beer can chicken or deep fried turkey and buttermilk biscuits?

                  Come to think about it, why not serve a traditional American Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings. There. I did just propose a meal plan.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: yayadave
                    Emme RE: yayadave Apr 20, 2008 01:37 PM

                    Why Lidia? Maybe Rachel Ray was busy.

                    1. re: Emme
                      asiansensation007 RE: Emme Apr 20, 2008 10:51 PM

                      thats pretty funny.

                      lidias restuarant is right in my backyard. if shes good enough to cook for the pope, maybe i should give her food a try

                      1. re: Emme
                        shindiganna RE: Emme Apr 24, 2008 07:43 AM

                        In addition to being a superb chef, Lidia is a devout Catholic.

                        1. re: shindiganna
                          MMRuth RE: shindiganna Apr 24, 2008 07:44 AM

                          One of the recipes she used was posted in the NYT yesterday, btw.

                      2. re: yayadave
                        lagatta RE: yayadave Apr 20, 2008 04:28 PM

                        Your joke is fine. I'm not (US) American, nor am I European-born, so I pass on that dispute.

                        Lidia B is most definitely an American; think she has spent a large majority of her life in the US. She is serving local US produce - why not a little Central European cultural comfort? You'll find that in lots of places in the Americas, from Canada to Argentina. I have a friend who is giving a lecture at a university in Southern Brazil in a state we've discovered to be full of Bavarian-style brewhouses and ratskellers...

                        1. re: lagatta
                          yayadave RE: lagatta Apr 20, 2008 07:08 PM

                          You miss the point. Why not show him the best of what we have in stead of an imitation of what they have?

                      3. m
                        mercyteapot RE: Cheese Boy Apr 20, 2008 01:11 PM

                        From what I understand (I think the press has been interested in this since the Pope declined President Bush's dinner invitation), the Pope rarely eats in public and prefers to dine alone. That makes it difficult to have any idea what type of food he enjoys. I'd probably go with a relatively safe offering such as roast chicken, supplemented with a veggie dish that could serve as the entree if it turns out he doesn't like chicken.

                        1. mnosyne RE: Cheese Boy Apr 20, 2008 03:56 PM

                          Strozzapreti washed down with Lacrima Cristi.

                          1. Father Kitchen RE: Cheese Boy Apr 20, 2008 04:06 PM

                            Don't forget the Pope has lived in Italy a very long time. One of my colleagues, who works in the Vatican Secretariate of State, told me that Cardinal Ratzinger used to go often to a trattoria in the neighborhood. The locals knew who he was, but never bothered him. So probably any classic in the cucina Romana would please him. But what you can't get in Rome is a good German volkornbrot. So I'd rather have him over for breakfast with volkornbrot, schenken, kaese and a soft boiled egg.

                            1. steakman55 RE: Cheese Boy Apr 20, 2008 06:26 PM

                              Oh, I think for the cheese course: The Cheeses of Nazareth

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: steakman55
                                Father Kitchen RE: steakman55 Apr 20, 2008 06:31 PM

                                After a meal in Denver, Pope John Paul II asked for the source of a sharp white cheese he had been served. And he had some shipped to the Vatican. It was Tilamook extra sharp white cheddar which has since been known as the Pope's cheese.

                              2. p
                                phoenikia RE: Cheese Boy Apr 20, 2008 07:17 PM

                                For lunch...Eggs Benedict.

                                I wouldn't serve him spargel or North-Americanized Italian food since he's bound to get plenty of the good stuff in Europe.

                                1. steve h. RE: Cheese Boy Apr 20, 2008 07:35 PM

                                  connecticut's blue point oysters are the best. i would start there. i'm sure a fisherman would get a kick out of a good new england seafood stew. maybe some crusty bread on the side and a few california wines. it's all good.

                                  1. b
                                    beevod RE: Cheese Boy Apr 21, 2008 06:53 AM


                                    1. Kholvaitar RE: Cheese Boy Mar 17, 2013 02:11 PM

                                      Pope Francis' humble lifestyle extends to kitchen--

                                      "ROME – Baked skinless chicken, salad, fruit and a glass of simple wine is certainly not food fit for a king. But it is a meal fit for a pope."


                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: Kholvaitar
                                        lagatta RE: Kholvaitar Mar 17, 2013 07:12 PM

                                        That is very interesting. His simple meal is appealing, "filling up on bread", less so. I love bread, a mainstay of Mediterranean eating - and hey, that includes Jesus! - but too much bread could cause diabetes and other health problems, in a culture where we walk less and do far less hard physical work than Jesus and his friends.

                                        I'm glad he allows a bit of wine. It is just so normal in Italy and the Italian diaspora, including Argentina.

                                        1. re: Kholvaitar
                                          Kholvaitar RE: Kholvaitar Dec 11, 2013 08:32 AM

                                          By the way, Congrats on being named Times Man Of The Year

                                          1. re: Kholvaitar
                                            lagatta RE: Kholvaitar Dec 11, 2013 09:02 AM

                                            Yes, I think Francis would be a far more congenial dinner guest than Benny would have been.

                                            I think I'd simply make him some empanadas and a salad; he'd like that. I could take them to a community centre where I volunteer.

                                        2. b
                                          beevod RE: Cheese Boy Mar 18, 2013 07:25 AM

                                          A chocolate matzo and a glass of Manischewitz

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: beevod
                                            lagatta RE: beevod Mar 19, 2013 09:14 AM

                                            Why? There is good Kosher wine nowadays, if you are inviting the Pope and his friend the Chief Rabbi of Buenos Aires. Some of it is made in Argentina.

                                          2. Veggo RE: Cheese Boy Mar 18, 2013 07:45 AM

                                            A roasted chicken sans the pope's nose, and a nice prosecco.

                                            1. Motosport RE: Cheese Boy Mar 18, 2013 12:30 PM

                                              I'd make a nice simple linguini puttanesca with some sauteed broccoli rabe & garlic on the side.
                                              I'd also invite all of my gay friends to join the dinner. It might wake up the Holy Pontiff!!

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: Motosport
                                                lagatta RE: Motosport Mar 19, 2013 09:14 AM

                                                Heh, heh. ;)

                                              2. Father Kitchen RE: Cheese Boy May 1, 2013 12:55 PM

                                                It depends on what he would be visiting for. We asked an archbishop coming for confirmation about his food preferences. He was so tired of the typical church banquet fare. He asked for southern fried chicken. When our superior general came, he asked for a buffet with sandwich fixings. He delighted in cold cuts, ham, egg, and chicken salad, potato chips and all the rest. If the Pope were my invited guest, I would try to find out if there were something he really didn't like. Then, I'd probably cook him something home-style from whatever is in season. Don't forget, as archbishop in Argentina, he used to cook for himself.

                                                1. NonnieMuss RE: Cheese Boy May 1, 2013 01:31 PM

                                                  Depends on if it's a Friday. I'm going to assume no, since fish isn't my thing. I wouldn't intentionally invite him over on a Friday. I like that this thread got resurrected (ha!) with the arrival of a new pope (who seems way cooler than last pope-guy).

                                                  Roasted Pork Tenderloin
                                                  Baked Apples
                                                  Wild Rice cooked in consummee
                                                  A decent baguette with real butter
                                                  Maybe a green salad.

                                                  That's my go-to company dinner - fancy enough without being frou-frou. You'll fill up, but not feel sick. I won't be chained to the kitchen all night, leaving me free to chat.

                                                  Would also invite my cousin, formerly a nun, now married to a lovely lady. She's the most Catholic person I know, even still.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: NonnieMuss
                                                    lagatta RE: NonnieMuss May 1, 2013 05:26 PM

                                                    Indeed. I'd have to invite at least one gay or lesbian friend. I'm sure he'd actually like my gay friend who is from a small village in Québec, or my lesbian Argentine friend. Doubt it would change Church doctrine, but might make him think.

                                                    He's not young, so good food but nothing too hard to digest. I'd make him bison empanadas (which I've made several times for parties). Lean bison is not very different from pampas grass-friend beef (as friends from down there say. Then a roast chicken with roasted vegetables and a more-than-decent Montréal baguette.

                                                    Local berries if in season, in a salad with a wee bit of brandy.

                                                    Obviously, I'd have to chat about Umbria (Saint Francis country) and Rome (duh) where I studied.

                                                    Of course Messi remains the most famous (now alive and active) Argentinian, above either Pope Francisco or Queen Maxima of the Netherlands. I have a soft spot for Messi as I don't think he is much taller than I am, rare among top-ranked pro athletes.

                                                  2. foodieX2 RE: Cheese Boy May 1, 2013 05:31 PM

                                                    I assume that his food taster would strictly dictate what I could serve and that all food would be tasted/tested in advance of the meal.

                                                    1. k
                                                      kagemusha49 RE: Cheese Boy Dec 11, 2013 10:46 AM

                                                      I'd ask him to do the washing up - he'd like that.

                                                      1. Robin Joy RE: Cheese Boy Dec 11, 2013 11:05 AM

                                                        Shepherd's pie.

                                                        1. Motosport RE: Cheese Boy Dec 11, 2013 11:11 AM

                                                          I still can't get over how much he looks like the Bond villain Elliot Carver.

                                                          1. Monica RE: Cheese Boy Dec 11, 2013 11:13 AM

                                                            simply grilled fish, roasted brussel sprouts and sauteed kale with lots of garlic and extra virgin olive oil.

                                                            1. 4
                                                              4X4 RE: Cheese Boy Dec 11, 2013 11:30 AM

                                                              A sonofabitch fish


                                                              1. Gio RE: Cheese Boy Dec 11, 2013 11:54 AM

                                                                Well, since PaPa would be coming to my home in eastern Massachusetts it would be a lobstah roll and beer. Maybe a cup of clam chowdah to staht.

                                                                8 Replies
                                                                1. re: Gio
                                                                  Motosport RE: Gio Dec 11, 2013 12:50 PM

                                                                  While you watch a Red Sox game and he cheers for the Yankees!!!! HAH!!

                                                                  1. re: Motosport
                                                                    lagatta RE: Motosport Dec 11, 2013 01:12 PM

                                                                    Wouldn't he cheer for the Cardinals?

                                                                    1. re: lagatta
                                                                      Motosport RE: lagatta Dec 11, 2013 01:20 PM

                                                                      Or the Angels!! Padres??

                                                                      1. re: Motosport
                                                                        Veggo RE: Motosport Dec 11, 2013 01:26 PM

                                                                        This may explain why the former Tampa Bay Devil Rays became the Tampa Bay Rays.

                                                                        1. re: Veggo
                                                                          Motosport RE: Veggo Dec 11, 2013 01:30 PM

                                                                          Yup! I thought of that too.

                                                                        2. re: Motosport
                                                                          lagatta RE: Motosport Dec 11, 2013 03:40 PM

                                                                          Actually, he supports San Lorenzo, obviously a futebol aka soccer/football aka calcio side, and another prominent religion in Argentina: http://eurosport.yahoo.com/blogs/worl...

                                                                          1. re: Motosport
                                                                            jpc8015 RE: Motosport Dec 12, 2013 12:49 PM

                                                                            I think the Saint David Fathers would be his team.

                                                                        3. re: Motosport
                                                                          Gio RE: Motosport Dec 11, 2013 02:36 PM

                                                                          You're just jealous 'cause He's not having dinner with you!

                                                                      2. yayadave RE: Cheese Boy Dec 11, 2013 12:25 PM

                                                                        I was thinking with this new guy, BBQ chicken, mac & cheese (w/ a little gorgonzola), and cole slaw and some Sam Adams or Yingling. Fine American eats.

                                                                        1. p
                                                                          pine time RE: Cheese Boy Dec 11, 2013 12:46 PM

                                                                          I've got a puff pastry recipe, filled w/ spinach & stuff, weirdly called "strangle the priest"--think that would work?

                                                                          I'm not Catholic, but I'd welcome the opportunity to meet this Pope and hear his wisdom. Seems like he might enjoy some chips and a beer!

                                                                          1. b
                                                                            Big Bad Voodoo Lou RE: Cheese Boy Dec 11, 2013 04:15 PM

                                                                            The Pope-a, he is'a coming!


                                                                            1. CindyJ RE: Cheese Boy Dec 12, 2013 01:29 PM

                                                                              Brisket and a nice potato kugel -- foods he probably doesn't get "at home."

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: CindyJ
                                                                                lagatta RE: CindyJ Dec 12, 2013 05:15 PM

                                                                                There is a very large Jewish community in Buenos Aires, probably most are Ashkenazi. Buenos Aires rivalled NYC for the Yiddish theatre. Obviously, the dishes developed differently.

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