The Czech menu

01 Feb 2017

Hearty meals meant to get you through a long cold winter, traditional Czech cuisine is heavy on the meat and starch. While some could categorise it as a bit stodgy if you find a good place it also can be considered flavourfully filling. Plus, there’s the endearing acceptance of having a breakfast or dessert food for dinner. Palačinky (crepes) are typically slathered with a fruit and whipped cream, or chocolate. Fruit dumplings (ovocné knedlíky) are tasty fruit-filled boiled dough balls brushed with butter and sprinkled with sugar. These aren’t actually so easy to find as most places only do them seasonally, when fruit like strawberries, apricots or plums are in abundance. If you spot some, snap them up.

For a time-honoured Czech favourite try svíčková. Probably the most often named ‘traditional’ Czech dish, it’s a thin slice of sirloin covered in a vegetable-cream sauce and served with bread dumplings usually with some cranberry sauce on the side. Kozlovna Apropos has svíčková on its main menu. Vepřo-knedlo-zelo is the nickname of a dish consisting of three basic things: pork (vepřová), dumplings (knedlíky), sauerkraut (zelí). It’s a fairly unappetizing looking dish, but surprisingly flavourful with lots of gravy to soak the bread dumplings in. It’s kind of an old-fashioned dish, so may not appear on every Czech menu, but Století serves it. Guláš is a bit easier to find, but varies wildly in style. At Bredovský dvůr, they make theirs with chunks of beef, spicy sausage and potato pancakes.

If you’d rather just have something strange to enjoy with your beer, there are two enjoyable options to recommend. Utopenci translates to drowning man and is a short fat sausage that has been drowning in oil, vinegar and spices for an unknown period of time.

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