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Chosen articles 11.12.2013
There are many adjectives that could be used when discussing traditional Czech food; hearty, flavorsome, warming, heavy, filling and stodgy. But it would be difficult to use words like slimming or cholesterol conscious. Even the salads are only served in supersize portions.
It would be unrealistic to imagine that the Czech salads could be served without dressings. They are often combined with a thick mayonnaise or tantalizing sauce. The salads can also contain sugar to give it a special sweet twist, but regardless of the flavor they are always big enough to satisfy the hunger of a Central European weightlifter.
Quite rightly, it could be argued that traditional Czech food has evolved to support people who lived in a harsh and sometimes bitter environment. The soups of the Czech cuisine are often broths and thick soups that are served with brown bread. Vegetable soups include onion, potato, sauerkraut and garlic, while meat soups incorporate chicken, fish, tripe and beef, the last often including liver dumplings.
To accompany any meal, there is always a perfect beer and Czech beer is perceived by many to be perfect in every way, so much so that they have actually created foods and delicacies to match the flavors of their beers. Nakládaný hermelín (pickled ermine) is a soft cheese that complements Czech beer perfectly.
There is also a pickled sausage called Utopenci, which means “drowned”, that is almost “drowned” in a blend of oil, vinegar, red capsicum and spices. Another wonderful sausage treat is a Klobásy, which is a grilled sausage, but not simply a bland grilled sausage. This is a Czech Klobásy, which means that it will be served with magnificent mustards, horseradish and brilliant brown bread. Both of these are terrific in their own right, but when served as an accompaniment with Czech beer one has to wonder if there is a finer way to drink.
Dessert is naturally the ideal way to complete a meal, but Czech desserts aren’t simply a signal that the meal is over, for some of them are almost another meal in themselves. Plums and apricots are used to create sumptuous fruit dumplings. The whole fruit is coated liberally in potato or curd dough. Then they are steamed are presented with butter and sugar or with poppy seeds and cream. A variety of fruits can be used for the dumplings including strawberries, bilberries or peaches.
Kolache is another delectable dessert. It is made of fruits and cheeses that are wrapped in a yeast pastry. Buchty is similar, but dough is substituted for fruit and the morsels are then baked.
There are many other facets of Czech cuisine that will delight and excite visitors to Prague. But if you are interested in accompaniments for beer or a truly satisfying soup, then there can be no doubt that you will find your heaven in a Prague eatery.
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