As the Philippines continues to prepare for the visit of Pope Francis this coming Thursday, January 15, 2015, local chef coordinated with the official Papal chef and came up with the list of foods the Pope will eat once he arrives. Being a very simple man, Pope Francis easily approved the menu recipe.
But first of all, Filipinos should be aware that Pope Francis used to cook his own food. When he was still Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio and living in a small apartment in Buenos Aires, Argentina, he used to go to the market in and cook for himself at home. The Holy Father is known for his very simple tastes.
And unlike many other popes, the Holy Father decided to live in Casa Santa Marta, instead of the traditional papal apartment in the Apostolic Palace. In fact, Pope Francis still falls in line to get his own food in the ‘canteen” in Vatican and joins the meal with his staff.
As early as August 2014, local news reported that Pope Francis will eat with the poor families when he visits Typhoon Yolanda victims in Tacloban City, Leyte. That time, speculation surfaced on which among the Filipino dishes to be served to the Holy See in Manila and Leyte.
According to Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, Pope Francis already had an idea of common Pinoy dishes because he has a lot of Filipino servants in the Vatican. The pontiff was given a list of menu and names of famous cooks in the Philippines including “Kusina Master’ Chef Boy Logro.
But because of his humble attitude, Pope Francis refused to be served luxurious dishes and requested for a list of traditional local foods that ordinary Filipinos eat. Although there will be some Italian dishes, majority of the food to be served to the Holy Father will be of authentic Filipino cuisine.
This includes adobong manok, paksiw na galunggong, sinigang na baboy, pritong tuyo, and pancit. For the drinks, Pope Francis will be drinking ordinary buko juice. In an unexpected surprise, the humble pope requested to eat balut, the ever-famous Filipino exotic food that many tourists wouldn’t want to eat.
Besides wearing local slippers, Pope Francis will be eating in banana leaves instead of plates. A source close to Palo, Leyte Archbishop John Du said that at one point, the pope might choose to eat with bare hands, which ordinary Filipinos are known for. Posing selfies with Pope Francis is also expected.
In related news, local top security officials said they are expecting a nightmare when guarding Pope Francis during his visit. In addition to riding a non-bullet proof papal mobile that resembles to a Philippine jeepney, the Holy Father is expected to walk and go near to the crowd any time.
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