Czech cuisine has a long history. It was formed under the influence of the tables of neighboring countries. However, the borrowed dishes were adapted by the locals so much that their recipes and taste are strikingly different from foreign counterparts. Czechs prefer simple and hearty food, which is served in large portions.
The main features of the national Czech cuisine
The cuisine of the Czech Republic does not tend to intricacy and sophistication, like Italian and French. Locals love to eat tasty and satisfying, so they prefer multi-component first and second courses, which are prepared on the basis of beef, pork, turkey, chicken and duck.
Meat, which in most cases is baked in pieces, is served with traditional sauces based on flour and pork fat. A feature of Czech cuisine is an indifferent attitude to fish, so dishes from it are rarely found in the menu of restaurants in Prague and other cities. In this country, they love pastries with sweet and salty fillings, as well as beer.
The borders of the Czech Republic have changed frequently throughout its history. The country is located in the central part of Europe, so it participated in most of the conflicts and was the place of passage of the main trade routes. This was reflected in the processes of formation of the nation and traditional cuisine. It is believed that the greatest influence on the culinary preferences of the Czechs was exerted by the Hungarian, German and Austrian tables.
In the Middle Ages, the basis of the diet of the locals was meat, wheat bread and cereals, which were cooked from millet, oats, buckwheat and hemp. For a long time, spicy herbs such as sage, etc. In addition, in the Middle Ages, monks at monasteries and churches began to brew beer, which gained great popularity among local residents. The first handwritten Czech recipes date back to the 15th century During this period, they began to actively adapt the dishes of the surrounding countries, so they began to use different seasonings and spices when cooking.
In the 17th century, pates became popular, which were prepared from partridge, turkey, snails and crayfish. During this period, dumplings began to be baked in the Czech Republic. In the 19th century, the national cuisine began to be simplified. Meat dishes, side dishes and soups began to be cooked in the Ukrainian or Russian manner, but with the addition of traditional seasonings and spices. Modern Czech cuisine tends to revive old national recipes.
They are due to the geographical location of the country, the richness of flora and fauna, mild climatic conditions suitable for agriculture. Local cooking is a bizarre fusion of Western European and Slavic cuisines. This country loves fatty meat dishes and crumbly cereals, as well as hearty, rich soups.
Locals do not abuse hot spices, so the food has a pleasant neutral taste.
Nuances of cooking
In the old days, food in the Czech Republic was cooked in ovens, but now they use ovens, gas and electric stoves. Food is more often boiled, baked and stewed. Frying is used less often, because Czechs like the food to be with thick gravy. Most baked goods are baked in the oven, but traditional dumplings are boiled in water. Most often, saffron, marjoram, cumin, dill, mustard and ginger are used in cooking.
What you should definitely try in the Czech Republic
When visiting the Czech Republic, first of all you need to try traditional soups.
The most unusual and tasty include:
- goulashov polavka;
- green vole;
- fish lil, etc.
In addition, while in this country, you should try the main dishes, which are considered the main ones here.
Special attention should be paid to:
- svickova on sour cream;
- secana, etc.
Be sure during a trip to the Czech Republic you need to taste local desserts and beer, which this country is so famous for.
First courses: soups
Soups are an important part of Czech cuisine. Most of them are cooked in strong broths. More often, these dishes are served with traditional bread.
It is a potato soup with mushrooms, marjoram, onions and garlic. A thick consistency is achieved by adding a special sour cream and flour sauce.
Goulash soup, which is prepared from beef, pork, rabbit or poultry with the addition of chicken or duck offal. To increase the density of gravy, semolina, flour fried on lard or mashed potatoes are introduced into it.
Traditional soup, which is made from pork rumen and vegetables. Garlic, paprika, marjoram, pepper, cumin, etc. are added to it.
National Czech soup, which is prepared on the basis of sauerkraut. It’s the local equivalent of shea. In some parts of the country, cream and fried flour are added to it.
Sour soup, which includes sausages, potatoes, forest mushrooms, milk and a special sourdough starter made on rye bread. The dish has a delicate spicy taste and a thick consistency.
Rich mushroom soup, which is prepared according to an old recipe. Cream, potatoes, quail eggs and flour are added to it. To give a sour taste, sugar and vinegar are introduced into the dish in small quantities.
Traditional Christmas Czech soup, which is prepared from carp. There are several recipes for it. In some cases, cream and spicy herbs are added, and in others – dry white wine.
Grtskova is a traditional peasant soup that is made from a mixture of lentils, beans, peas and other legumes. When cooking, meat is not used, but to increase the fat content, a little lard is added to the dish.
Traditional garlic soup, which is made from smoked meats and potatoes. To increase the density of the yushka, an egg is often inserted into it. Garlic is served with rye croutons.
In the Czech Republic, meat dishes with a side dish in the form of vegetables or porridge are considered the main ones. They are often served with thick gravy or traditional sauces.
Pork knuckle, cooked according to old Czech recipes. In some parts of the country, it is boiled in vegetable broth with the addition of herbs and spices, and in others it is soaked in beer and baked on the grill.
The Czech version of the dishes is prepared from beef or pork. The meat is cut into large cubes and stewed with pepper, garlic and cumin. Then tomato paste and flour are added to the gravy.
Traditional Czech sausages, which are prepared from offal. Often used pig’s head, skin, liver, lungs and blood, but the composition may include other components.
In addition, pearl barley, herbs and spices are used in the preparation of this dish. Sausages are served with baked potatoes.
Sausage, which is prepared in a natural casing. Its main ingredients are pork meat, liver and lung. They are first boiled, and then cut and mixed with garlic, soaked bread and spices. Minced meat is filled with shells, tying them every 25 cm. Sausage is boiled, and then fried with onions.
Czech analogue of meatballs. They are made from beef and pork. Bread, cheese, onions, cabbage, garlic and spices are often added to minced meat. Balls are formed from the mixture, which are then fried in vegetable oil. The dish is served with salad.
Local sausage made from minced pork and spices. It is consumed cold, but more often it is additionally steamed, fried or boiled.
A piece of pork, veal or chicken fillet, breaded with flour, egg and chopped breadcrumbs.
Svichkova on sour cream
Beef fillet stewed in creamy gravy. The composition of the sauce traditionally includes carrots, parsley, celery, onions. As a milk component, sour cream or fatty cream is more often used. To increase the thickness of the sauce, flour is introduced into it. The meat is moved to a plate along with the gravy. Put a few spoonfuls of sour cream and lingonberry sauce on top.
A good side dish to the switch is baked potatoes or mashed potatoes.
Czech dish, which is prepared from minced meat. Pork and beef are used more often. To the salted minced meat put dry bread and spices soaked in milk. Then the components are thoroughly mixed, laid on a baking sheet and give the dish a rounded shape.
Czech analogue of the German seltz. It is made from pork meat, hides and bones. The last 2 ingredients are put when cooking in a pan so that the yushka contains a lot of gelatin. Then the meat is cut into cubes, spices are added, poured with broth and left in a cool place to solidify.
In addition to pork and beef, from which most of the main dishes are prepared, other types of meat are popular in the Czech Republic. Restaurants and cafes serve rabbit meat with sauce. In addition, the locals make roast duck. This bird is often served with stewed cabbage. The daily diet of many Czechs includes chicken and turkey.
Sweets and desserts
It is an important part of Czech cuisine. Residents of this country prefer sweet pastries with different fillings. Other types of sweets are less common here.
A traditional Czech cake made from milk, flour, eggs and sugar. This cake is made two-tone. Its lower part is dark brown, and the upper part is light.
Babovka is a traditional Czech cake.
Češský biscuit with fruit. In the dough add chopped cherries, cherries, apple, peach, etc. Bake this biscuit in the oven. Powdered sugar is sprinkled on top of it.
Vanochka and Mazanec
Vanochka is a sweet wicker bread that is made from yeast dough. On top of it is decorated with seeds and powdered sugar, baked for the Christmas holidays. Mazanec is a rounded butter cake. It is served for Christmas.
A traditional dessert made from yeast, flour, eggs, milk, sugar and salt. From the dough form small puffs with a diameter of up to 5 cm, and then fry in vegetable oil. They are covered with whipped cream and jam on top.
Volek is a dessert that is prepared from yeast.
Small buns that are made from sweet yeast dough. Before serving, they are poured with warm vanilla cream.
Sweet pudding, which is prepared from apples (less often – pears) and a loaf. The latter is cut into large slices, soaked in sweetened milk and sprinkled with cinnamon. Then the chopped apples are laid on top.
The last layer is always bread. The dish is baked in the oven until golden brown. Zhemlovka is delicious in both cold and hot forms.
Butter pie with open apple filling. More often it is baked in a rounded shape. At Christmas, czechs prepare a kolach from 3 woven together kalachs.
Kolach is a butter pie with apple filling.
Czech frozen delicacy, which is prepared from cream, cottage cheese and sugar. It is covered with chocolate glaze on top.
A delicacy made from curd dough with fruit or berry filling. The formed balls are boiled in warm water. Most often they are served warm, drizzled with ghee and sugar or berry syrup.
Other traditional dishes
There are many traditional Czech dishes that are difficult to attribute to a particular category. Under some circumstances, they can act as a second course, but more often they are used as a snack.
Potato pancakes, an analogue of Ukrainian pancakes. They are prepared from a mixture of flour, grated potatoes, eggs and spices. In some areas of the Czech Republic, chopped smoked meat and sauerkraut are added to them. Thin pancakes are fried on both sides until golden.
Cheese with white mold in marinade. Slices of the main ingredient are placed in a jar, alternating with onions. In addition, coriander, pepper, garlic and bay leaf are added to the container. Then vegetable oil is poured into the jar and left so for 3-4 days.
Czech snack, which is prepared from sour cottage cheese. The dish has a specific smell. More often, tvaruzhki are made in the form of cakes with a diameter of up to 10 cm. Consistency can be of varying degrees of softness. The taste of this fermented milk product is spicy.
Pickled sausage or sausage served with beer. First, a brine is prepared from vinegar, water, sugar, salt and spices. Thick sausages are peeled from the shell, cut lengthwise and placed inside a piece of pickle or sauerkraut.
Utopenets – pickled sausage with beer.
A half-ringed onion and a prepared sausage are placed in a jar, then cold brine is poured inside. The dish is left in the refrigerator for 2 weeks. That’s enough to marinate the sausages.
Czech version of the snack sandwich. Cucumbers, tomatoes, radishes, bell peppers, sausage, cheese, eggs or fish are placed on a thin slice of bread. Ingredients are put to taste.
A traditional Czech sweet dish made from potatoes.
In the Czech Republic, special traditions have been formed for the preparation of low-alcohol and strong alcoholic beverages. In addition, they love carbonated ones.
It is believed that brewing came to the Czech Republic from Germany. This was facilitated by the activities of the monks. The drink was to the taste of the locals, and soon a large number of breweries appeared in the Czech Republic. In this country, about 20 varieties of beer are produced from high-quality raw materials.
Beer came to the Czech Republic from Germany.
Most of the Czech vineyards are in Moravia. Climatic conditions in this region are not the most favorable, but local winemakers try to make unusual wines. They are a must try when visiting this country.
The Czech Republic produces more than 50 types of liqueurs based on chocolate, local berries, herbs and other ingredients. The strength of the drink is 18-20%. Czech liqueurs are also popular outside the country.
Liqueurs are prepared on the basis of chocolate and berries.
Herbal tincture, in the preparation of which about 20 plants are used. The drink has a bitter taste and a strength of 38%. It is produced in Karlovy Vary. Often this tincture is used for medicinal purposes to eliminate diseases of the stomach.
Czech herbal liqueur, the strength of which reaches 40%. In its preparation, 14 plants are used, including centaury, bitter, Roman chamomile. The liqueur has a spicy and bitter taste. The drink is aged in oak barrels.
The Czech Republic produces many types of such drinks.
These include plum. This is a fruit brandy, the alcohol content of which reaches 50%. Serve it chilled.
Slivovitsa is a fruit brandy with alcohol.
In addition, the native is distinguished by increased strength. It is also called Czech rum and is prepared from beets or potatoes.
Czech analogue of Coca-Cola. It is similar to it in taste and color, but less sweet. It is made on the basis of 14 fruit and herbal ingredients, as well as caramel and sugar syrup.
Many Czech dishes are quite simple, so they can be made at home. Some recipes deserve special attention.
To prepare a traditional Czech mushroom soup you will need:
- forest birch trees or chanterelles – 200 g;
- champignons – 200 g;
- cream – 70 ml;
- onions – 1 pc.;
- potatoes – 3 pcs.;
- flour – 3 tbsp;
- allspice and black peas – 5 pcs.;
- butter – 20 g;
- cumin – 0,5 tsp;;
- bay leaf – 2 pcs.;
- dry thyme – 0.5 tsp;
- parsley – 2 branches;
- salt to taste.
The process of preparing the soup includes the following steps:
- Vegetables and mushrooms are washed, peeled and crushed.
- Mushrooms, forest chanterelles and birch trees are boiled in hot water with bay leaves for 7-8 minutes.
- In a frying pan, melt butter, add cumin and thyme, and then fry mushrooms and onions.
- In a saucepan, boil the chopped potatoes for 10 minutes.
- In a separate container, mix flour and cream until a homogeneous mass is obtained.
- Mushrooms are added to potatoes and boiled for another quarter of an hour.
- Then a mixture of flour and cream is introduced into the broth, boiled for another 2-3 minutes.
- The soup is poured on plates and decorated with greens.
To prepare a dish according to the classic recipe, the following ingredients will be required:
- rear pork knuckle – 1-1,5 kg;
- onions – 1 pc.;
- dark unfiltered beer – 1 l;
- ground pepper – 1 g;
- carrots – 1 pc.;
- garlic – 5 cloves;
- cloves – 1 g;
- bay leaf – 2 pcs.;
- allspice – 3-5 peas;
- hot pepper – 2 pcs.;
- honey – 1 tbsp;
- grain mustard – 1 tbsp;
- salt to taste.
Stages of cooking:
- The pork knuckle is thoroughly washed, cleaned of the remnants of the skin.
- Vegetables are peeled and cut into 4 parts.
- Beer is poured into the pan, garlic, bay leaves and spices are added.
- After boiling, a hock and chopped vegetables are placed in the broth.
- The dish is cooked for at least 2 hours.
- In a separate container, mix crushed mustard and honey until smooth.
- The cooked knuckle is laid out on a baking sheet, smeared with a mustard-honey mixture and baked in the oven for 1 hour at a temperature of 180 ° C.
Veprevo knee is best served to the table along with sauerkraut and bread. Tomato and mustard sauces go well with it.