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The Pope and Melania Trump Just Had an Awkward Conversation About Donald Trump's Diet

Does she feed the leader of the free world pizza, or Slovenian desserts?
Photo by EVAN VUCCI/AFP/Getty Images

There's nothing more painful than small talk when you meet someone new. "How 'bout this weather?" you find yourself saying, while simultaneously hating yourself. If it's not weather, it's food. "How 'bout this food?" you'll comment, waving a cookie from the buffet in the face of a near-stranger.

Even Pope Francis does it. When he was introduced to Melania Trump on Wednesday morning, His Holiness clasped her hand, gestured to President Donald Trump and asked her, "What are you feeding him, potica?" A translator then repeated the question, and Melania either replied "Pizza, yes," or "Potica," depending on which news outlet you believe. (The Associated Press went with potica.)


Pizza is probably the more accurate answer, even though it's not what the Pope asked. He inquired whether she served potica—pronounced 'po-tizza'—a Slovenian rolled dough cake that typically has a rich filling of finely chopped walnuts. (That's a regional preference though: depending on which part of the country you're in, your potica may alternately be filled with poppy seeds, tarragon or even chocolate.) The cake has been a part of Slovenian cuisine for hundreds of years and is such a part of the country's identity that it has been featured on postage stamps twice in the 26 years since Slovenia became an independent country.

"What is the national dish of Slovenia? [That] is a hard question, as Slovenian cuisine is so regionalized that hardly any dish is eaten throughout the country," Slovenia Incognita writes. "If pressed hard enough, a possible answer would be potica. Everybody in Slovenia knows it, and our mothers and grandmothers even know how to make it. Also every Slovenian-American knows potica, as do their neighbors."

The AP described Melania as "looking a bit confused" by the Pope's question. On one hand, it might be a little strange that Melania—who was born and raised in Slovenia—wouldn't immediately recognize the name of her country's most famous dessert. On the other, it's not like she spends her days wrapped in an apron, wiping her flour-streaked forehead with the back of her hand, because come on, it's 2017. (And even before she became the First Lady, she had her own chef).

READ MORE: The Pope Misses Going Out for Pizza More Than He Misses TV

So no, she's probably not preparing anything for the President—which is totally fine. Also, President Trump hasn't been known to eat pretty much anything that sounds even remotely foreign.

Next time, maybe Pope Francis will ask what's up with President Trump's steak and ketchup habit. Or he could ask about the weather. That's safe, too.