Vatican City - Pope Francis, the current head of the Roman Catholic Church, has requested that pudding be added as a selection at the Vatican cafeteria.
The Pontiff, in office since 13 March 2013, has a deserved reputation of humility, caring for others, grace and forgiveness. Some of his actions have sent questioning reverberations through the church, such as his declaration that the church should not marginalize homosexuals, but instead welcome them with loving hearts.
Francis, or, the "people's Pontiff", has again taken a step that no other pope in history has dared take. In a personal note to the head of the Vatican's cafeteria, Pope Francis wrote "Would it be possible to add pudding to your menu? Perhaps chocolate? Maybe another flavor or two as well so no one feels left out. My world-wide travels have shown me that people like vanilla pudding and also butterscotch."
Approximately 850 people live in Vatican City. According to the cafeteria's head chef, Antonio Ragu, making pudding from scratch for that many people would be a huge job. He speculated that he'd have to hire at least one full-time pudding maker, if not two people. And if the cafeteria follows the Pope's suggestion of adding three different flavors, Chef Ragu said it could require an expansion of the kitchen facilities. "We just can't handle that kind of volume with our current layout," said Chef Ragu. He added "I think we have to be realistic here. We can do what we can do. I'm going out this afternoon to check with Sam's Club and Costco to see what kind of volume discount they'll give a non-profit."
The idea of buying the pudding rather than making it was a difficult one for Ragu to consider. The vast majority of items in the cafeteria are made on-site using traditional Vatican recipes, some that are centuries old. On the idea of buying the pudding from a large-box retailer like Costco, Ragu said "the original Vatican chef, Minestrone Boyardee, would roll over in his grave."