On average, Pope Francis is a light and no-nonsense eater, sticking to a meal of baked chicken, fresh fruit and salad, and a glass of wine.
But the Holy Father has a serious sweet tooth, too, and his 2015 papal visit to the Philippines saw him relish (and take home) some of the most delectable desserts made by Filipinos.
Want to know what Lolo Kiko’s favorite treats taste like? Visit these restaurants to find out!
Flambéed Mango à la Mode
Tasked to feed Pope Francis during his 2015 papal visit, chef Jessie Sincioco was advised to prepare a simple menu. But the devout Catholic, longtime lector and commentator of her parish, and avowed Pope Francis fan couldn’t help but tickle his taste buds when it came to dessert. A Flambéed Mango à la Mode with Mantecado Ice Cream was served to Lolo Kiko during his stay at the Apostolic Nuncio’s residence in Manila. “He really liked ice cream,” said the chef to the Inquirer. “He scraped the bowl clean.”
This and other dishes were served again at “The Holy Father’s Menu,” a 2017 fundraiser at Chef Jessie Rockwell Club, with all proceeds going to Tulay ng Kabataan Foundation. Today, you can have it at her Top of the Citi, and in restaurants like Sumosam, La Tienda, and La Creperie, which have their take on the delectable dessert.
Dulce de Leche Ice Cream
When Paco Magsaysay, maker of Carmen’s Best Ice Cream, received a call for orders of ice cream from Philippine Airlines in 2015, he thought it was just going to be for another flight. As it turned out, the order was for Pope Francis, and the truth only dawned upon Paco on the day of the delivery. “I didn’t imagine they would get us for that,” he told Rappler.
Paco personally picked out Pistachio, Malted Milk, and Brown Butter Almond Brittle for the Holy Pontiff. “I did soon find out that he loves Dulce de Leche and I would have made him a Dulce de Leche ice cream,” he says. After being sold in select venues, Carmen’s Best Ice Cream is now available nationwide.
Have a sudden craving for Dulce de Leche too? Magnolia Gold Label has its own version of Dulce de Leche ice cream, Aracama serves Dulce Gatas + Bunuelos (caramelized gooey dulce de leche with warm fried pastries), and Dean and Deluca has a Dulce de Leche-flavored coffee. If you prefer it as a cake instead of ice cream, Tittos Latin BBQ & Brew presents its Dulce de Leche as a cheesecake with caramelized corn flakes, strawberry puree, and chocolate sauce; and the no-fail Sugarhouse offers it as a light vanilla chiffon topped with creamy caramel filling, then covered with whipped cream and sprinkled with almond slices.