Pope Francis makes a 'fantastic paella'

A new book has revealed the personal side of Pope Francis claiming he makes a "fantastic paella" and used to go tango dancing as a teenager in the hope of meeting girls.

A new book claims Pope Francis starts his day at 4.15am with a cup of "maté". Credit: Vandeville Eric/ABACA

The pontiff starts his day at 4.15am with a cup of "maté" - a traditional South American caffeine-rich beverage - and enjoys cooking, with him previously preparing meals for himself when he was an archbishop, the book claims.

Francis: Life and Revolution, which is due to be published next week, is written by Argentine journalist Elisabetta Piqué who interviewed friends and relatives of the Pope for the biography.

The nephew and godson of the South American pontiff also revealed to the journalist how he would dip their dummies into whisky or wine in a bid to stop them crying.

Priest Angel Rossi said Pope Francis "always cooked fantastic paella" and the book reveals that the pontiff has taught the Vatican chefs how to make his favourite desert the "dulce de leche" - a sweet milk pudding.