Most of my time in the Czech Republic was spent in Prague, which is where I was able to taste a wide variety of foods. I always tried to order highly recommended local dishes along with the Czech versions of international meals I was already familiar with. The more you explore Czech cuisine, the sooner you’ll discover that their dishes are not as vast as other western countries with longstanding histories of being cultural melting pots. I’ve come to realize that the staple foods never really change, primarily just the seasonings and style. And let’s not forget the quality of fresh meats, cheeses, and vegetables.
The people of Czech Republic absolutely love their meats and their cuts are by far fresher than what I’m accustomed to back in America. Their meat dish of choice is Svíčková, and I had my first taste of it at Minipivovar Krajinská 27 restaurant. This delicious meal typically consists of pork, cabbage, and dumplings. Just thinking about the pork gives me happy memories and puts a smile on my face! The cabbage is typically sauerkraut, which looks a bit different at first glance, but I’d strongly suggest you remain open to embrace the idea of cultural experience through food. It’s sometimes red cabbage, which happens to be uniquely tasteful. The dumplings are nothing in comparison with the ones in America. They aren’t prepared the same way, nor are they served in a bowl. They also aren’t served on top of the Svíčková. They’re more like a thick slice of potato, boiled or steamed and served on the side of the plate along with gravy, which is actually very filling and tasty in its own right.
This particular restaurant experience was awesome because I was able to dine with locals along with another acquaintance I had met through my American friends, Melissa and Todd. Our food was ordered in the Czech language which is extremely difficult to learn and speak. I would be remiss not to mention the local Czech beer we enjoyed that evening as well. We indulged ourselves with Pilsner Urquell, which was quite delicious. This beer was not only the first pale lager in the world, it surprisingly has a pretty decent alcohol percentage too. Beer has been a staple part of Czech history since 900 AD. It’s been rooted in their culture so much that it’s not uncommon for the people of Czech to be allowed at least two beers during their lunch breaks! 👀 I learned this fun fact from my Americans friends, who were working in Czech and were also completely shook by this common practice. No wonder the people of Czech drink more beer than any other nationality worldwide.
I truly enjoyed this entire evening and also learned a few fun facts over beer and a great dish. One fact I learned was that throughout the country’s history, lavish quantities of meat were typically reserved only for the wealthy, which still remains true for their cultural beliefs today. Czech people consider those who have a lot of meat with their meals to have some magnitude of wealth.
As far as other foods are concerned, I can say that they make a really mean burger in Czech. The beef is so fresh, it melts in your mouth. The pizza is served on Italian thin crust. The Chinese and Asian dishes seem to be better than both the U.S. and several other places I’ve traveled. But hey, don’t take my word for it. Go taste for yourself!