The world nearly stops when the Pope comes to visit. His New York tour garnered hordes of fans at Central Park, where police herded them between barricades as the man in white greeted the crowds. And while he's beloved around the world, the true life of Pope Francis remains an enigma to most. But now some of that mystique is slightly unveiling—thanks to a cookbook issued by the Pontifical Swiss Guard.
Slated for an April release, The Vatican Cookbook will be published in English by Sophia Institute Press and includes some of the Pope's favorite dishes. Basically, it's an inside look at the life and food of the world's smallest country and the man who's responsible for the spiritual governance of 1.2 billion people. You can pre-order the cookbook on its publisher's website for $35 (or Amazon for $24). But before you buy, here are the essentials you need to know about what Pope Francis typically eats in a day:
1. His favorite foods are probably your favorites, too.
If you can check off Argentinian empanadas, dulce de leche, and—of course—pizza as your go-to munchies, then you've got something in common with Pope Francis.
2. Polish nuns do most of the cooking at the Vatican.
Sometimes a member of the Swiss Guard steps in to run the kitchen, but that is extremely rare and typically only occurs for formal occasions or to fulfill a special request.
3. The Guard knows more about the pope's eating habits than anyone else in the world.
That's because they are virtually his personal army. (They're a group of Swiss men charged with protecting and serving the pope for a minimum of 25 months.)
4. Sadly, Pope Francis did not write the cookbook.
The authors are all current and former members of the Guard, including David Geisser, Erwin Niederberger, and Daniel Anrig. Geisser was actually a chef before he joined the guard in 2012, and he's also the one who came up with the cookbook concept in the first place.
5. When Pope Francis vacations, he eats eggplant mozzarella.
While staying at the Castel Gandolfo—known as the "papal palace"—his Holiness eats meals fresh from the farm that sits on the estate's grounds, where there are small herds of cows.
6. There are chapters dedicated to his predecessors.
Former Pope Benedict XVI and former Pope John Paul II hail from Bavaria and Poland, respectively. So there are two sections that detail their favorite native foods like Pope John Paul II's beloved pierogis.