Traditional Czech cuisine can’t really be described as dietary or extremely healthy, however, nothing goes better together with the rich flavor of famous Czech beer. Czech dishes mainly consist of pork or beef in plenty of sauce with knedliky (dumplings) as the most common side dish. It’s quite a struggle to explain what Knedlik is to someone who had never seen it. Knedlik is basically a dumpling made of wheat or potato flour, boiled in hot water and then sliced into pieces to be served on the side of your plate.
4 or 5 dumplings?
The most common dilemma of Czech dining is whether you have 4 or 5 dumplings (čtyři nebo pět knedlíků) with your Svičková or Guláš. Svičková represents a truly unconventional combination of meat, sauce, dumplings and whipped cream with cranberry jam. I know, hard to believe before you taste it, but it’s delicious and happens to be expats favorite food in the Czech Republic.
One can argue, whether Guláš (goulash) is actually a Hungarian, Slovak or Czech dish, however, this more traditional flavored meal is served in every Czech restaurant. Sauces to be served with meat can vary greatly. There is Rajská – meat in tomato sauce or Koprovka – dumplings with a sauce made of chopped dill, butter, and cream. Another absolute favorite is Smažený řízek – a piece of chicken, beef or pork steak coated in flour, egg, and breadcrumbs, fried and served with boiled potatoes or potato salad.
Soup of the day
Soups represent a significant part of Czech cuisine. Basically, a proper Czech meal should contain 3 courses: soup, main course, and a dessert. Top three Czech soups are Bramboračka, Česnečka and Gulášová polévka (Goulash soup). With a basic knowledge of Czech, one can easily guess what are the soup’s ingredients.
Bramboračka is potato soup with bits of mushrooms in it, Česnečka is garlic soup, which makes a great remedy for winter colds, and Goulash soup isn’t worth mentioning at all as it’s already too obvious 🙂 A peculiar fact is that fish soup – Rybí polévka made out of carp – is actually among Czech Christmas treats.
As mentioned above, dessert is considered an important part of a traditional Czech meal. Czechs even managed to transform their favorites – knedliky – into a dessert. How would this be possible?! Well, fill the original dumplings’ dough with bits of fruits, jam or curd, add some sugar, and you got a brilliant and unique dessert. In case you prefer more traditional sweets, try famous Czech cakes and pies (Kolač in Czech), or Palačinky – pancakes filled with fruits, whipped cream or ice cream.
Where to try traditional Czech food
I bet those who managed to keep on reading now feel quite hungry 🙂 So here are some tips on where to get a taste of traditional Czech cuisine.
Celetná 597/17, Prague 1
Kotlářská 51a, Brno
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