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John Paul II's Favorite Food: A Papal Indulgence

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It's no sin to have a sweet tooth!

On a visit to his hometown of Wadowice in 1999, the pope mentioned that as a boy he and his friends would put their money together to buy a special pastry from the local baker.  Now, the pastry is known in Poland as the "Papal Cream Cake."


ROME, Italy (John Paul Moments) - What would you guess was John Paul II's favorite food?  A priest who dined with the Holy Father at a public banquet shared the following anecdote. At the end of the meal, a specially prepared cake was served, a traditional Polish recipe that was the Holy Father's favorite. At this time, the Holy Father already had to watch his health, and one of the nuns who took care of the papal household was present to keep an eye on the Pope's diet.
When the cake was offered, she made eye contact with the person serving the cake, and held her fingers slightly apart to indicate the proper sized sliver to serve the Pope. But when the Pope saw out of the corner of his eye that "Sister dietician" had turned away, he motioned to the waiter, placed his hand on the waiter's hand, and with an impish grin positioned the knife to cut a much more ample slice.

No doubt, the pastry in question was the Polish cream cake which is now known as Kremówka papieska, the "Papal Cream Cake."  On a visit to his hometown of Wadowice in 1999, the pope mentioned that as a boy he and his friends would put their money together to buy one of these cakes from the local baker.  Now, any visitors who come to visit John Paul II's childhood home are sure to see signs advertising the treat in front of restaurants and baker's shops.

The recipe is simple but delicious, calling for a shortbread crust on the bottom, a layer of golden custard cream, and a sheet of puff pastry on top.   The finished product is cut into squares and dusted with dusted with confectioners' sugar.Delicious!  You can find a link to the full recipe on our website,

--- is dedicated to promoting the teaching of John Paul II through the radio and podcast program "John Paul 2 Moments" and various print publications.

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