Papal Stuff: The Old Pope’s Favorite Wine, and the New One’s Cooking Habits

Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images via

Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images via The Guardian

To be honest, we’ve been disinterested in the Papal Election ever since we realized the smoke coming out of the Vatican wasn’t coming from barbecue. But, in the wake of Pope Francis I’s ascension, we’ve come across two interesting stories that make us think maybe this Pope business is more interesting than Spring Breakers after all. Here’s what’s poppin’ in the Papal world of food and drink:

The mysterious case of “Papale.” You’ve got to read this strange tale from the L.A. Times to believe it. A wine store in Culver City got a mysterious call last week from a “gentleman with a slight Italian accent” looking for 2008 Papale Primitivo di Manduria, an Italian wine that’s not easy to find in the U.S. He ended up buying 115 bottles to ship back to Italy, which the store owner calculated would cost almost $2,500 in FedEx fees alone. When it came time to give the address, the man said the shipment was going to the office of the Cardinal Secretary of State at the Vatican. Perhaps the wine was used to celebrate the outgoing Pope? It’s plausible, since “the wine was a favorite of Pope Benedetto XIII in the 18th century and ever since that time the wine has been called ‘Papale.’” Now we know what those Cardinals were really doing in there that whole time…

Pope Francis: Master chef. Well, not really. Much has been made already of the new Pope’s frugality and the fact that he cooks for himself rather than enjoying extravagant meals. NPR takes a deeper look into his chef skills via an old profile in Argentina’s La Nacion, finding that his eating habits are pretty boring: “Fruit, skinless chicken and salads are all favorites.” But at least he drinks good coffee—during an earlier trip to Italy, he “reportedly took pleasure in exploring city streets by foot, drinking his ristretto while standing upright at cafe counters.”

Okay, back to Selena Gomez…

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