Otázka: Czech Cuisine
Czech cuisine has both influenced and been influenced by the cuisine of surrounding countries. Many of the cakes and pastries that are popular in Central Europe originated within Czech lands.
The body of Czech meals typically consists of two or more courses.
The first course is traditionally soup, the second course is the main dish, and supplementary courses such as dessert or compote may follow.
Dumplings (knedlíky) – steamed and sliced bread-like dumplings – are one of the mainstays of Czech cuisine and are typically served with meals. Czech potato dumplings are often filled with smoked meat, spinach or sour cabbage. Fried onion and braised cabbage can be included as a side dish. There are many other side dishes including Noodles (Nudle). Buckwheat (pohanka) and millet grains (jáhly) are not very often served in restaurants and more commonly a home-cooked, healthier alternative.
Soup (polévka colloquially polívka) plays an important role in Czech cuisine. Common soups you can find in Czech restaurants are beef, chicken or vegetable broth with noodles (optionally with liver or nutmeg dumplings). For example: garlic soup (česnečka) with croutons (optionally with minced sausage, raw egg, cheese) and cabbage soup (zelňačka) sometimes with minced sausage. Other soups, even more cooked at home, are pea (hrachovka), bean or lentil soup (fazolová or čočková polévka), dršťková – made from “dršťky” – stomachs of cattle or pork stomachs are used, cut into little pieces and cooked into soup with other ingredients (meat can be substituted by the oyster mushroom) or also kulajda – is a traditional South Bohemian soup containing water, cream, spices, mushrooms, egg, dill and potatoes.
Traditional Czech dishes are made from animals, birds or fish bred in the surrounding areas. Pork is quite common; beef, calf and chicken are also popular.
In restaurants you can find: Guláš – is by far the most popular dish in the Czech Republic, despite the common misconception of vepřo-knedlo-zelo being the most popular. It is a stew usually made from beef, onions and spices, however it also can be made from pork and sometimes game, for example venison. Řízek (plural řízky) – in typical Czech meat meal. These are slices of calf, pork or chicken meat covered with Czech traditional trojobal (triple coat). Fishes were mostly from rivers or ponds like trout (pstruh) and carp (kapr), which is served a lot at Christmas. Utopenci (literally “drowned men”, singular: utopenec) are piquantly pickled bratwursts (Czech “špekáčky”) in sweet-sour vinegar marinade with black pepper, bay leaf, lots of raw onion and chilli peppers.
Fruit dumplings (ovocné knedlíky) are mostly made using plums (švestkové knedlíky) or apricots (meruňkové knedlíky) or strawberries (jahodové knedlíky). Kolache (koláče) are a type of mainly round yeast pastry consisting of fillings ranging from fruits to curd or poppy seed on doughnut. Vánočka (braided) and mazanec (bun) are prepared for Christmas. Easter Lamb (Velikonoční beránek) is prepared for Easter. The dough is from eggs, sugar and flour. Buchty yeast pastry similar to koláče, the same filling is wrapped in piece of dough and baked.
Aside from slivovitz, Czech beer and wine, Czechs also produce two uniquely Czech liquors, Fernet Stock and Becherovka. Kofola is a non-alcoholic Czech soft drink somewhat similar in look and taste to Coca-Cola but not as sweet.
A mixed drink consisting of Becherovka and tonic water is called Beton (concrete in English). It’s an abbreviation of BEcherovka and TONic. Another popular mixed drink is Fernet Stock mixed with tonic, called “Bavorák” or “Bavorské pivo” (literally: the Bavarian beer).