Sometimes, people only think of Catholics as those who fast and abstain from certain food. But in reality Catholics love food! For every feast day there is a special food or feast prepared.
Italians cook a Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve, there are zeppoli on the feast of Saint Joseph, and don’t forget corned beef and cabbage on the feast of Saint Patrick!
Read more: 15 Recipes Inspired By Your Favorite Saints
Catholics. Love. Food. Here is a list of the most Catholic foods ever!
1. Papieska Kremowka
“Papal Cream Cake” is a sweet puff pastry filled with cream and it happens to be Pope Saint John Paul II’s favorite dessert. He once organized a cream cake eating competition with his friends to celebrate graduating from high school!
This food gets first mention because, come on, it’s a pope and saint’s favorite dessert! I dub this one “Uber Catholic”.
Second on this list is another Polish food. Poland is an incredible Catholic country. An image of Our Lady painted by Saint Luke himself ended up in Poland. Christ revealed His Divine Mercy in Poland, too. I don’t think I have to list the tons of saints that came from there, either!
Pierogi is a wonderful Polish food beloved by Catholics (look up #PierogiTwitter on Twitter) and even non-Catholics. It certainly has brought the city of Pittsburgh together. The Pirates baseball home games have pierogi races, Primanti Bros. has just created a limited-edition Polish Hill sandwich with pierogi instead of fries, and some churches even sell them!
Pierogi is truly ecumenical, crossing all faith and cultural boundaries and therefore gets the title “So Catholic It Bridges the East and the West”.
3. Candy Canes
There are tales that the candy cane was made into a religious symbol by bending the normally straight stick into a cane to represent either a shepherd’s staff (as Christ is the Good Shepherd) or a “J’ for Jesus.
The white stripes are said to represent Christ’s wounds and Precious Blood. Since these origins are unverifiable, I dub this treat “Christmas Catholic Only”.
Catholic monks first brewed beer and many still make their own today – and other kinds of alcohol!
Saint Albert is the patron saint of beer and no Catholic gathering would truly be complete without cracking open a cold one. I title this “Socially Catholic”.
Unverified historical accounts tell us that pretzels are thus shaped to represent praying hands or hands crossed over the chest and were given to children by priests for learning their prayers.
Pretzels are a simple reminder to pray and give thanks in all things great and small, especially for the food that sustains us. I dub pretzels as “Piously Catholic”.
A symbol of the early Christians was the fish – Ichthys is an acrostic in Greek for “Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior”. This symbol was chose for its symbolism as Peter and the disciples were called to be “fishers of men”.
Fish is traditionally eaten on Fridays during Lent (although, abstaining from meat except fish ever Friday is a recommended practice) to commemorate the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. During the Christmas season, many Italians also cook the Feast of the Seven Fishes to welcome the Christ Child into the world.
Fish have very deep roots in Catholicism, so I dub it “So Catholic You Must Put Out Into the Deep to Catch It”.
7. The Eucharist
Sacrament Most Holy, Sacrament Divine. The source and summit of the Catholic life. Manna from heaven. The Eucharist is the original Catholic food! It’s above all others in everything – except maybe taste, but that’s the least important aspect of it and also purposeful, I’m sure.
There would be no Catholic life without the gift of the Eucharist. How truly incredible that we, though ridiculously unworthy, are asked to partake of this divine meal? Of our Savior in His entirety? That He should come so close to us to actually become one with us in body and spirit.
This one is so vitally Catholic that no catchy title could accurately describe. It is, beyond all imagination, wonder, and knowledge, “The Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity, of Our Lord, Jesus Christ”.