Czech characters are typed in Times New Roman CE /Latin 2 font where necessary.
You're wondering, "How does Czech Cuisine taste?"
it tastes great!
Well…, it tastes like chicken, if it's chicken, especially if it's Eva's Roast Chicken! However, the point of abusing the cliché is to highlight the difficulty in describing flavors.
Many would say Czech food is "meat & potatoes" in nature. There's merit in that. Just don't take it as faint praise. Remember, the Austrian-Hungarian Empire united Central Europe commingling cultures and tastes, which explains why there's so much overlap between Germanic, Viennese, Bohemian, Slovakian, and Hungarian kitchen styles. Czech cooks were much sought out by the aristocracy during that era. Eva's grandmother, Josephine Dolejš, was one such house-manager/cook for a wealthy family. She traveled with them from Paris to Budapest to Prague and Vienna in between. This illustrates why we Czechs love our goulashes as much as Hungarians do, though we go lighter on the paprika. We also appreciate schnitzels, so much so one might confuse us for Germans or Austrians. And naturally French culinary art has always influenced refined European tastes. So expect an occasional hommage to Paris in our sauces and desserts.
In their book From
Stroganov to Strudel, Great Traditional Cooking from Germany, Austria,
Hungary, and the Czech Republic, Catherine Atkinson and Trish Davies
group these European cuisine's because, "The Foods characteristic
of this area… are characterized by a robust style that is famous
& Davies further specify Czech food tastes Jewish (or visa-versa):
In All Along the
Danube, Marina Polvay practically cites Eva's grandma when writing,
"To the Austrians and Hungarians, Bohemians… represent those
talented female cooks who entered the Viennese and Budapest households,
bringing with them culinary know-how in preparing meats, and, especially,
High praise! Yet such endorsements still don't exactly explain what our food tastes like.
OK, for sure it doesn't taste spicy. Czechs consider pepper a strong seasoning to be used sparingly (and unhealthy for children). Caraway is a preferred flavor. A dash of "Italian Seasoning" might be expected, or sweet paprika, marjoram, sour cream, butter, or lemon juice. Sauerkraut is popular, as is sweet-and-sour flavoring (e.g., red cabbage „rot kohl“ to Germans). About the most savory traditional fare are kielbasas [klobása], ham, and smoked pork chops.
Because our restaurant is in "CzechoCalifornia," we accommodate patrons who want Tabasco for their split pea soup (or for whatever). We even offer a brunch item of Chorizo & Eggs with Czech Fried Potatoes, which is no way Czech, but who cares?!" „Mňyam, mňyam!“ Yum-yum!
But don't let that confuse you into thinking we've gone fusion. When we say it's traditional, it is. Czech Cusine's not broken which is why we fix it as it's meant to be prepared. Having written that, we hope this page helps you anticipate the fantastic meals awaiting you at Little Prague Bohemian Restaurant.
word or two about beer: it's essential.
"Several rulers of Bohemia have issued edicts forbidding, sometimes on pain of death, the export of hop cuttings. The export of the hop cones themselves is a different matter." [bold added]
Kinda harsh laws, huh? Well, what do you expect? We're talking about OUR BEER here! What the kings couldn't understand at the time was, like grapes, it's not just the variety of hops that makes the difference in flavor; it's the climate and soil in which they're grown. Bohemian grown hops are still essential to brewers around the world.
A Few Czech Proverbs
Without work there are
Bez práce nejsou koláče.
At a strange table eat
what you are given; at home, eat whatever you wish.
(At home eat what you have, at a stranger's, what you are served.)
Doma jez co máš, u cizích co ti dají.
Eat slowly and speak slowly,
and you will live a long life.
Jez do polosyta, pij do polopita, vyjdou ti naplno léta.
variation: Eat half, drink half, you will live full years.
He who cannot cut the bread
evenly cannot get on well with others.
Kdo se nesrovná s chlebem, nesrovná se s lidmi.
The way one eats is the
way one works.
Jak k jídlu, tak k dílu.
Sing the song of the one
whose bread you eat.
Koho chleba jíš, toho píseň zpívej.
variation: He, who wants to eat with wolves, must bark „wow“ with them
Kdo chce s vlky jísti, musí s nimi výti.
Don’t praise the
banquet until you are going home.
Nechval dne před večerem.
variation: Do not praise a day before evening
Wine and children speak
Víno a děti mluví pravdu.
variation: In Vino Veritas.
Ve víně je pravda.
He who eats apples every
day takes the doctor’s bread away.
Jedno jablíčko k večeři drží doktora ze dveří.
variation: One apple for the dinner keeps doctor out of the door.
Appetite grows with the
S jídlem roste chuť.
Friendship is like wine,
the older it is the better it is.
Přátelství je jako víno, čím starší tím lepší.
Too many cooks over spice
Mnoho kuchařů překoření jídlo.
When food tastes its finest,
Když jsi v nejlepším v jídle, přestaň.
A soup is the basis - who
does not eat it will not grow tall.
Polévka je grunt, kdo jí nejí, ten je špunt.
When drinking beer come
when there’s good cooking there’s good will.
Kde se pivo pije tam se dobře žije,
kd se dobře vařú tam se dobře daří.
The spoon is precious while the soup is being sipped.
When I have eaten enough, I will lend you my spoon.
Hope is a good breakfast but a poor dinner.
Better one’s own slice than another’s loaf.
Drink yourself drunk, and in one night you will commit all the sins there are.
When you oversalt the goose, you will appreciate a tankard of beer.
That which is soon ripe is soon rotten
A full sack is heavy, an empty sack even heavier.
From Stroganov to Strudel, Great Traditional Cooking from Germany, Austria, Hungary, and the Czech Republic,
Catherine Atkinson & Trish Davies, Southwater (USA distributor Ottenheimer Publishing, Maryland), ©2000
All Along the Danube,
Marina Polvay, Hippocrene Books, Inc., New York, ©1992
tomu jako koza petrželi!
...and I'm the webmaster. Report errors, errata, 404s...