THE WONDERS OF LOCAL CUISINE, Introduction

Audio File length: 2.25
English / USA Language: English / USA

Hi, my name’s Scott, and I’m your personal guide. Along with MyWoWo, I’d like to welcome you to the wonderful flavors of Czech cuisine.

 

Prague is a crossroads of different cultures, so its cuisine is naturally influenced by the countries nearby, such as Germany, Austria and Hungary. Don’t worry though, because it’s not hard to find some of the city’s own typical dishes to try.

 

The main ingredients in Bohemian cooking are meat, potatoes, and vegetables that grow on the hills around the city, especially mushrooms.

In addition to soups made with vegetables or mushrooms, the characteristic first course in Prague is dumplings. You’ll find two very different kinds. Knedlíky are made with dry bread, and are similar, in name and in shape, to Austrian knödel; they are larger, almost the size of a meat loaf, and are served sliced. You’ll also find a sweet version, filled with fruit.

Škubánky, on the other hand, are small potato dumplings sautéed and served with poppy seeds and sugar. They’re eaten not as a dessert, but as a first course, or as an accompaniment to meat, and they’re often sprinkled with cheese.

 

Here in Prague, it’s common for first and main courses to be served together, and the city’s specialty is vepřo-knedlo-zelo: roast pork with dumplings and sauerkraut. The meat is flavored with garlic, while the dominant flavors in the other components of the dish are bacon and kümmel, a liqueur made with cumin.

 

Combining sweet with savory is one of the hallmarks of Czech cooking, and the most representative dish is svíčková, beef sirloin stewed with vegetables, lard and sour cream and served with slices of knedlíky, blueberry jam and whipped cream with sugar.

You’ll frequently find goulash on the menu, too. This stew with meat, vegetables and paprika is of Hungarian origin; the Prague version is thicker, and contains mushrooms.

 

Another very popular dish is řízek, a local variant of Wiener Schnitzel: a slice of beef, pork or chicken, tenderized, dipped in egg and breadcrumbs and then fried.

 

An interesting fact: Prague Ham, the only kind cooked on the bone, is Bohemia’s best-known food product. Not much of it is actually made here, however; most of it comes from Trieste, in Italy.

 

What else can I say but…Enjoy!

 

 

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