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Czech Cuisine

The Czech Republic has more than interesting sights; the local food is also worth trying. Where else could you taste delicious sauces with dumplings, pickled sausages or blueberry beer? 

Sauces, cooked with cream or butter, are very popular and they are usually served with dumplings, the most traditional Czech side dish. There are several types of dumplings, but the most common are bread and potato dumplings. One of the most common meals in the Czech Republic is “hovězí svíčková na smetaně”, which is beef sirloin in a sauce made from root vegetables and cream, served with a slice of lemon, cranberry sauce and whipped cream.

Serving sweet dishes as the main meal is a Czech specialty. Therefore, you can find dishes such as dumplings stuffed with fruit, pancakes, bread pudding or sweet buns with custard.

Traditionally, the Czechs cook with potatoes, which are either used as a side dish or as the main meal. You should definitely try the potato pancake (bramborák) or potato dumplings stuffed with smoked meat (bramborové knedlíky plněné uzeným masem). After a busy night out, you should have some traditional Czech soup: potato soup with mushrooms (bramboračka s houbami) or garlic soup (česnečka). In the Czech Republic, soup is a part of the lunch menu, and many people have a bowl before the main meal every day. However, soup is also good as a light and fast lunch.

Restaurants often serve finger food that goes well with beer (chuťovky k pivu), such as brawn (tlačenka) and pickled sausages (utopence). One of the most popular meals with the Czechs is fried cheese (smažený sýr), also called “smažák”.

If you’d like to have something light, try some fish: carp, trout with caraway seeds, zander or pike in butter.

Forest mushrooms are a popular Czech ingredient, which might sound a bit unusual to foreigners. The Czechs love mushroom picking. The second interesting ingredient is poppy seeds, used mainly in desserts, special regional pies or buns, which are also sometimes served as the main meal.

However, the Czechs are well-known all over the world for brewing and drinking the best beer. Pilsner Urquell is definitely number one on the market. The Pilsner Brewery now makes Gambrinus, Velkopopovický Kozel, Radegast and Master. There are four other major breweries in the country (pivovary Staropramen, Heineken, Budějovický Budvar and Lobkowicz) and hundreds of microbreweries that make their own special brews with aromatic flavours such as blueberry, coffee, sour cherry and honey beer.

The people in Moravia are rightly proud of their winemaking skills. It’s definitely worth visiting one of the tasting events in wine cellars in the east of the country. In the autumn, you can buy young wine (burčák) in the shops. The tradition says that every year you should drink as much young wine as the blood that circulates through your body to ensure good health. Moravia is also famous for its distilled brandies, plum brandy (slivovice) being the most popular. There’s another famous Czech herbal cordial: Becherovka, made in Karlovy Vary.

If you’re interested in recipes for typical Czech meals or the list of good certified restaurants serving Czech cuisine, you can check out the CzechSpecials website.

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