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About Czech Food


'Dobrou Chut' ' is what Czechs say to each other before they begin a meal. It means 'Bon appetit' or 'Hope it tastes good!' Most Czechs enjoy their food very much and mealtimes are special occasions. Czech food is rich and hearty, but if you've never tried it, there are a few things worth knowing. The 'knedlik' is the most common side dish. It's a dumpling, made of either wheat or potato flour that is boiled as a roll of dough, then cut into slices and served with a sauce rather like gravy. Most dishes consist of pork or beef, but chicken, turkey, freshwater fish, duck, lamb and rabbit are common too. On menus you often see the word 'Medallions' meaning a piece of meat sliced flat like a medal. A 'spis' is similar to a shish-kebab i.e. grilled meat and vegetables on a skewer. 'Svickova' (pronounced 'svich-kova'), marinated meat with a creamy sauce and dumplings, is the national dish. You will also find many different types of potatoes offered on menus.

Czechs like sugar in just about everything it seems. Sauces, gravies and salad dressings are uncommonly sweet. Other flavours seem to be used sparingly. Spices most commonly used are caraway, poppy, paprika and dill. Condiments commonly used are mustard (smooth and grainy), sauerkraut, tartar sauce, horseradish and ketchup. Many Czech dishes come with 'zeli', usually pickled, cabbage. Meats are frequently smoked or marinated.

Czech food is not exactly diet food. When you buy a 'salad' for example you will often get a thick mayonnaise-based dressing and small pieces of vegetables and meat. Check out our Vegetarian Restaurants page if you are prefer low-fat food. Vegetarianism is only recently catching on in Central Europe so there aren't many options to date.

If you want to sample Czech cuisine start with 'Veprove Knedliky' which is basic pork with dumplings. 'Beefsteak na Kyselo' is steak with a sour, creamy gravy. For something hearty and spicey you can't go wrong with a bowl of goulash, although technically Hungarian, you will find it on many Czech menus usually served with dumplings.

A bowl of garlic soup will satisfy the flavour seeker - it's called 'Cesnekovy Polevka'. Onion soup is good too and you may like to try a fish soup as well such as 'Drstkova Polevka'. The national fish is the Carp and 'Kapr Peceny s Kyselou Omackou' is carp with a sour cream sauce. Other popular items include the potato pancake 'Bramborak' and fried cheese 'Smazeny Syr'. Meat is generally fresh and the quality is good but it can be a bit gristly for some tastes. It's just that the whole cut is served leaving the diner to remove any less desirable parts. And as for the bread - no, it's not stale - it's supposed to be dry and chewy. Dip it in your soup!

The national beverage is beer and it's very much part of the diet in the Czech Republic.The national liquor is Becherovka, an apparently 'medicinal' aperitiv made of herbs said to aid digestion. And, after a meal of creamy sauces and sauerkraut you may be appreciative this fact! CoDan Agentura arranges tours of both the Becher factory and Staropramen Brewery as well as a well-preserved estate brewery that's many centuries old. It's fun to tour the breweries and we offer great guided tours and beer tastings in several languages. You can visit our web-site Andel3w for more information and instructions on how to book.

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