Traditional Czech Cuisine – The Revitalization of a Vanishing Tradition

The Czech Republic is not known for its food. Prague, the capital city is full of stunning historical buildings, the Charles Bridge, the Astronomical Clock, and the biggest Castle in Europe, Prague Castle. People go to Prague for beer, rare wines, and the beauty of the city.  There have also been several movies filmed in Prague. Traditional Czech cuisine is a mix from Germany, Poland, Hungary, and Austria; food from its neighboring countries. After decades of dictatorship, the traditional Czech cuisine almost vanished. It is still a challenge to find excellent restaurants that offer traditional dishes. The trends are slowly changing and people are now returning to the roots of the Czech cuisine.

Traditional Czech cuisine is not known to be healthy dishes, but they are flavorful. In most dishes, pork or beef is used with a sauce and a home-made spongy bread dumpling (houskové knedlíky) accompanies the dish. The dumpling is made with potato or wheat flour and cooked in boiling water. Other traditional meats used are duck, turkey, chicken, rabbit, lamb, and fish. Two other side dishes that may accompany these dishes are rice or potatoes, which come baked, boiled, or fried.

A very popular dish that is loved by the local Czech people is Rajská or Svičková. It is a dish that combines meat with a sauce or gravy and whipped cream. Soup (polévka) is also a favorite, especially in the winter months. Goulash Soup (Gulášová polévka), a creamy thick soup, served with brown bread; fish soup (Rybí polévka) is a tradition at Christmas time. Onion (Cibulačká) and garlic soup (Česneková polévka) are also very popular.

 

Jablečný závin is one of the most popular Czech desserts. It is a strudel filled with an apple a touch of cinnamon and topped with icing sugar. The dish is served hot with homemade whipped cream and vanilla custard on the side. Another extremely popular item that many people think is a traditional dessert is a trdelník. It is dough twisted around a metallic roller and dipped in a mix of sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon. The roller is put over an open fire and rotated until the dough is cooked to a golden color. Signs state that it is a traditional dessert, however, it originally comes from Hungary.

 

New trends, wine-growing traditions, and advantageous geography make Prague one of the top cities for wine lovers right now. Central Europe is slowly starting to recognize the appeal of its wine local wine. Prague is situated in the perfect location to be part of this growing industry. The two wine-growing regions in the Czech Republic are the Bohemia and Moravia area. The Bohemia wine region is the smaller of the two areas and has Prague located right in its center. The local vineyards belong among the most northerly anywhere in Europe. You will find several vineyards in Prague itself.

 

In Prague, great beer can be found on almost every street. Prague currently has 30 working breweries giving it one brewery per 42,000 locals, a low ratio compared to many other cities. Beer in Prague is not expensive. The most expensive places in Prague offer beer, including imports at very affordable prices.

 

You can wander through the beautiful narrow cobblestone streets looking for restaurants that offer these wonderful dishes, but chances are if you are in the touristic areas and the signs are written in English, they will not be traditional authentic Czech cuisine. For the best options in tapping into the hottest trends in the Czech culinary scene, sampling the authentic traditional Czech cuisine book a walking food tour. They are great to learn some history of Prague and walk off a few of the calories you consume.

 

Prague Eating Tours offers small tours of 6 -12 people. They offer authentic Czech food and beer from their favorite vendors, who have been serving locals for generations. You will also discover Prague’s Old and New Towns: the city’s most picturesque, cultural, and historic neighborhoods. Prague Eating Tours Website.

 

Prague Foodies, winner of the Luxury Travel Guide global awards 2016 is your doorway to Czech food and culture experience from a local perspective. Culinary and culture walking tours will guide you through the best local seasonal and sustainable fare, including Czech wines, craft beers, spirits, cheeses, charcuterie, and much more with Prague Foodies.

 

The Prague Beer & Czech Tapas tour with Urban Adventures is a great afternoon. You will discover some hidden gems in the districts of Vinohrady and Zizkov. With seven different tours available you are sure to find one that suits you. Check out their website for more information on the tours they offer here. Urban Adventures Website.

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