00 6/20/2010 2:22 PM

Ricetti, Aneddotti e Ricordi
dalla vita di BENEDETTO XVI

223 pp, 12 euro

The publisher's blurb:

What must one eat as a child to become a Pope when you grow up? If that were all it took, then we would find out by reading this new and very special book rich with tasteful recipes, of course. But above all, this is a book dense with with memories, anecdotes and stories from the childhood of the boy who would become Benedict XVI.

Since he was born in a small village in Lower Bavaria, the dishes offered, like the accounts of his childhood, are wrapped in the flavors and colors of his native land, where customs and traditions andure and are very much alive even today.

A lover of Bavarian cuisine, editor of many books on gastronomy, and passionate cook, Ute Flock produced this book with the supervision of a great expert in recipes and in practical instructions for everyday life: Suor Germana.

The book reflects all the simplicity and wisdom of someone who has for many years written down advice, reflections adn teachings in a successful blend of spirituality and good sense, family values and the best of traditional dishes.

, in its 6/18/10 issue, comments on the book:

'Eat like a Pope'

The book Mangiare da Papa, written by Suor Germana, the Catholic Julia Child, for De Agostini publishers, has an unintentionally surreal subtitle.

Thanks to the collaboration of Ute Flock and anecdotes told by friends and relatives of Benedict XVI, this recipe book shows "what one must eat as a child to become a Pope later".

But with the dishes described, there is a risk of not getting to be an adult at all: It is a celebration of animal fats and sugars, cholesterols and triglycerides, from the cutlets, sausages, custards and fried foods, typical of Bavarian gastronomy.

Perhaps the longevity and lucidity of Joseph Ratzinger are owed rather to his 'conversion' to the Mediterranean diet which, the book explains, took place when he came to Romw.

But it seems the Pope enjoys eating: his mother was the daughter of a baker and was an 'expert cook', as her future husband specified in an announcement he published looking for a wife (to which two women answered).

And a story in the Observer out of the above, and obviously, going through the book itself:

Eat up your veal,
lard and stuffed pigeon -
and you might be Pope

by Tom Kington in Rome
The Observer
June 20, 2010

The good health of Pope Benedict XVI is not down to his childhood diet, according to a new book.

Italians impressed by Pope Benedict's good health and quick mind at the age of 83 have been shocked to learn that the German pontiff's favourite recipes are a suicidal mix of fried, buttery and carnivorous pleasures.

The glimpse at Joseph Ratzinger's culinary wish list is granted by a new book, Eat like a Pope, which details, in all their greasy glory, the top dishes served up in the Ratzinger household in Bavaria by his mother before the war.

A cholesterol roller coaster, the recipes range from stuffed pigeon with butter, cream and sherry, to soup with liver and onion dumplings, to the "exquisite butter and jam biscuits" that young Joseph loved.

Publisher De Agostini said the book is already into its second edition since publication last month, despite coinciding with the child abuse scandal swirling around the Vatican.

But Italian weekly L'Espresso warned children against attempting to follow the Ratzinger diet if they wanted to grow up to be Pope themselves.

"With these dishes, there is the risk of not reaching adulthood at all," the magazine stated. "This is a triumph of animal fats, sugar and cholesterol."

The collection was put together with the help of a woman who lived next door to the Ratzingers and regularly swapped recipes with Maria, Ratzinger's mother, the daughter of a baker who met the future Pope's father after he put out a small advert seeking a bride in 1920.

Joseph Ratzinger Senior, a policeman, wrote in the ad that only "expert cooks" should apply, preferably including a photograph with their response. Selecting Maria from the two replies he received, Ratzinger ensured himself and his family a constant diet of goulash, hare cooked in lard and red wine, roast veal kidneys, veal cutlet dished up in herby butter and, when Mrs Ratzinger was not cooking, buttery biscuits made at Christmas for the family by local Franciscan nuns.

Snacks in the Ratzinger house, according to the book, were likely to be hunks of bread served up with Brie rolled in chopped onion and mixed with beer.

"Would it not be the case that the longevity and lucidity of Joseph Ratzinger should instead by attributed to his conversion to the Mediterranean diet, which occurred when he arrived in Rome?" asked L'Espresso.

Somehow, I think Kington's piece gives a wrong idea of meals in the Ratzinger household - not at all the impression one gets from reading Milestones, which is one of frugal circumstances. Certainly, his mother would have had all those recipes since she was a cook and would have made them for special occasions, but not as daily fare!

In Milestones, Joseph recalls the day he came home from the American POW camp, marking the end of the war for him: "In my whole life I have never again had so magnificent a meal as the simple one that Mother then prepared for me from the vegetables of her own garden".

[Edited by TERESA BENEDETTA 6/20/2010 11:19 PM]