Knedlíky, tvarůžky, svíčková, koláče… Simply Czech!
The Czech Republic is becoming internationalised, so you will find great variety of dishes and food in every restaurant and grocery store, however, we love our Czech specialties and here are some tips to help you find and taste the real Czech cuisine.
Olomouc region specialty is tvarůžky (read tva-roo-shky), surface ripened round cheese or put simply – cheese with a really strong odour. The tradition of making this cheese dates back to the 15th century and it is the only original Czech cheese. People divide into two groups: the ones who love it and the ones who hate it. Tvarůžky can be prepared in a variety of ways — eaten “raw” with bread, fried, marinated, or added to other meals. You can find the “tvarůžky” in any supermarket and for gourmets among you.
- Poets’ TIP: We recommend Tvarůžková cukrárna (“tvarůžky” bakery) at Denisova 13, where you can taste home-made pastries made of this lovely stinky cheese.
Less nose-challenging Czech dishes
Svíčková (read svitch-co-va) – braised beef sirloin served with cream vegetable sauce, sliced dumplings and cranberry compot. Every family now has their own “best” recipe for svíčková!
We love our knedlíky (dumplings) – traditional side dish made from wheat or potato flour, boiled in water as a roll and then sliced and served hot. They are great when you dip them in a sauce!
Guláš (Goulash)- paprika-based sauce with meat, served with knedlíky. Even though it originates in Hungary, we adopted it as our own throughout our common history.
Vepřová pečeně s knedlíkem a zelím (or as we say at home Vepřo-knedlo-zelo) – Roast pork with dumplings and cabbage.
Smažený sýr (read smazhenee seer) – fried cheese garnished with potatoes or fries and Tatarská Omáčka, read tatarska omachka (Tartar sauce). Since Czechs are very inventive, we put smažený sýr in a bun hamburger-style. It’s a treat!
Rajská (read raiska) – tomato sauce, usually served with meat.
Bramboráky – the so called potato pancakes. You can have them plain, as a side dish, or even with chicken or tvarůžky inside. Yum!
Soup plays an important role in the Czech cuisine, we are used to eat it before the main dish. Every restaurant offer some soup in the menu. The most appreciated Czech soups are onion (Cibulačka, read tsibulachka) and garlic soup (Česneková polévka, read Chessnekova polévka), but of course you can find many others.
- Poets’ TIP: Garlic soup was found to be a very efficient hangover cure – tested by us!
Czech beer is perfect; nothing to say, but what if you are in a pub, and all of the sudden you would feel hungry? Nothing to worry about. The good old Czech people had the problem solved centuries ago…
As French invented all sorts of cheese combinations to go with their fine wines, the Czech people have their own delicacy: nakládaný hermelín, read naakladanee hermeleen. It is basically camembert pickled in oil.
Another beer delicacy are Utopenci, read utopentsee (literally translated as the “Drowned”). Utopenci are sausages pickled in vinegar, oil, onion, red pepper, and different spices.
- Poets’ TIP: We love the home-made nakládaný hermelín at our local pub “U Floriána”.
Famous are pancakes (Palačinky – read Palachinky), filled with ice-cream, jam or fruits and coated in whipped-cream, almonds or sugar.
Try also the traditional Fruit dumplings (Ovocné Knedlíky, read ovotsne knedliky) and the various forms of tasteful Czech cakes (Koláč – read Kolach) filled with different fruits, jams or curds.