Several people have asked me about Czech food.... I have to be honest and tell you that we really didn't sample too many "authentic Czech dishes"... Czech food tends to be heavy- they love their breads and meats, in particular pork and game (venison and duck were common).. "Dumplings" are very popular, and they were not at all what I expected. They are actually like a steamed white bread, and are served
with meat and a gravy-like sauce. This photo is of Czech Goulash- chunks of meat in a gravy with dumplings. It was okay, but I wouldn't have ordered it a second time... The vegetable garnish you see, chopped onion and tomato, was a rarity. In almost every case, items are ordered separately and if you want veggies, you order them as a side dish and pay extra. Being a big veggie eater, I was disappointed
in that- never saw a carrot or broccoli, a pea or a bean. Other than salad veggies- lettuce, cucumber, peppers and tomato, vegetables were pretty scarce with the exception of potatoes and cabbage. Many places also charged a "cover charge" for the bread basket, usually 30Kc (about $1.75). Ordering water ("still" water- if not, it comes carbonated) always meant a 250 ml. glass bottle, cool never cold, and it usually was $3-$4. Too bad I'm not a big beer drinker as it was cheaper. I tended to stick with chicken or fish a good deal of the time. We also had pizza a few times, Thai food twice and Chinese once. Lunches for me were almost always a salad or soup.
Laura had sausages one day for lunch- look how many she got!! 9 or 10, I forget which, served with cabbage. She washed them down with a beer... and decided shortly thereafter that it was time to become a vegetarian for awhile...
Czechs also like their desserts- usually pastries. I did try Apple Strudel, and the trdlnik and palačinka previously mentioned. Decorated gingerbread is also a "big thing" there. I came upon this lovely window display - doesn't it look just too beautiful to eat? I didn't have desserts very often as we tended to buy icecream (gelato) frequently to help us deal with the heat. It was always good, but the servings were small- one small scoop only- smaller than our scoops- no extra added on top... usually 30Kc (just under $2.00). I did have one very delicious dessert as a treat one day- grilled pineapple topped with coconut icecream and a raspberry coulis. It was divine... probably the best thing I've eaten in a long while.... Mmmmmmm...
"I haven't been everywhere, but it's on my list."
~ Susan Sontag