Traditional Czech Cuisine

23.09.10 12:17

There are a couple of food specialties that have made the Czech Republic famous around the world. We are proud to be the founders of several delicate dishes widely known as “Czech cuisine”.

Soup: the basement

There ain’t no dinner without a soup. That’s what every Czech patriot would tell you. Soups have a truly huge tradition in our country. And we have lots of kinds. For example, we’ve got a soup with cute little dumplings in it. Or perhaps you could try “bramboračka”, a kind of soup you could find in basically every restaurant in Prague, I guess. It’s a thick kind of soup with potatoes in it, with a light smell of garlic accompanied by vegetables like carrot, parsley and celery. 10 minutes before it’s ready, the cook throws mushrooms in it and man it is wonderful. The secret is that the vegetable gets fried on butter a bit in the very beginning. It gives the soup such a good taste. Czechs make soups practically out of everything. Garlic soup, milk soup, tomato soup, lentil soup... I could keep going, but the list would be probably as long as Bubba’s shrimp list from Forest Gump. Go for experiments. :)

Knedlo zelo vepro

Roast pork with cabbage and dumplings is the translation of the above funny looking words. Among Czechs, this is the most favorite dish at all. When I was a little child, my grandma would cook this dish every Sunday. There would be no end of the week without it, trust me. Czechs actually know three kinds of dumplings but mostly you will see bread dumplings in the restaurants. Common are also potato dumplings. Cabbage goes from white to red, from sweet to sour. There are lots of ways of how to prepare it, making lots of ways it can taste. Usually, though, it is far sweeter than Bavarian cabbage, called sauerkraut, which uses to be very, very sour.

Svickova na smetane

A special kind of cream sauce with beef and dumplings is another specialty Czechs have to offer to the world. It is really hard to prepare, so make sure you choose wisely where you go have it. Only truly great cooks are able to make this food wonderful and enjoyable. The process of preparing this food asks for perfect timing and real sense of cooking. If you choose the restaurant wisely, svickova might happen to become your favorite food. :)

Veprove koleno

And here we’ve got pork again. This time it’s the knee. Roast pork knee is another Czech citizen’s favorite kind of food. A typical side dish for pork knee is bread with horseradish and mustard. Yummy!! Can you smell it already? :)

Wiener schnitzel

The name of this dish says it comes from Vienna, but who do you think the Austrians learnt to cook from? No, don’t laugh. Seriously. Back when there was this monarchy called k.u.k. (Austria-Hungary) years and years ago, Czech women would travel to Austria as maids and cooks. That’s why many dishes quite typical for Austria are misspells of the names of the dishes in Czech. Anyway, back to meat. This schnitzel is a very common dish for Czechs as well. Every time it’s made, it’s got a tasty coat made out of breadcrumb, flour and eggs. Very good if both meat and breadcrumb are made with love.

There are loads of other dishes you could try out in the Czech Republic. For the record, let’s also name “hovězí guláš” – dark red to brown sauce with pork meat and onions (Would you believe onions are what makes it so dark? No lie!) served with what else than dumplings... :) For those who enjoy sweeter dishes, Czech cuisine offers something tasting like that as well. Dumplings filled with fruit (my favorite are strawberries and plums) covered by butter, curd and sugar are excellent. I like a version with cocoa instead of curd, though. :)

We hope you will enjoy at least some of the mentioned traditional Czech meals in Prague. Please drop us a line about your experience with some restaurants that offer traditional Czech food. We will love to hear from you!

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