Czech cuisine
Czech cuisine has both influenced and been influenced by the cuisines of surrounding countries. Many of the fine cakes and pastries that are popular in Central Europe
Central Europe
Central Europe or alternatively Middle Europe is a region of the European continent lying between the variously defined areas of Eastern and Western Europe...

 originated in the Czech lands
Czech lands
Czech lands is an auxiliary term used mainly to describe the combination of Bohemia, Moravia and Czech Silesia. Today, those three historic provinces compose the Czech Republic. The Czech lands had been settled by the Celts , then later by various Germanic tribes until the beginning of 7th...

. Czech cuisine is marked by a strong emphasis on meat
Meat is animal flesh that is used as food. Most often, this means the skeletal muscle and associated fat and other tissues, but it may also describe other edible tissues such as organs and offal...

 dishes. Pork is quite common, and beef and chicken are also popular. Goose
The word goose is the English name for a group of waterfowl, belonging to the family Anatidae. This family also includes swans, most of which are larger than true geese, and ducks, which are smaller....

, duck
Duck (food)
Duck refers to the meat of several species of bird in the Anatidae family, found in both fresh and salt water. Duck is eaten in many cuisines around the world.-Types of ducks:The most common duck meat consumed in the United States is the Pekin duck...

, rabbit
Rabbits are small mammals in the family Leporidae of the order Lagomorpha, found in several parts of the world...

 and wild game are served. Fish is rare, with the occasional exception of fresh trout and carp
Carp are various species of oily freshwater fish of the family Cyprinidae, a very large group of fish native to Europe and Asia. The cypriniformes are traditionally grouped with the Characiformes, Siluriformes and Gymnotiformes to create the superorder Ostariophysi, since these groups have certain...

, which is served at Christmas.

Side dishes

Knedlíky (steamed and sliced bread-like side dish) are one of the mainstays of Czech cuisine and are quite often served with meals. They can be wheat or potato based, and are sometimes made from a combination of wheat flour and stale bread or rolls. In contrast to Austrian cuisine, the type that is large and served cut into slices (instead of smaller quenelles) occurs more often. The smaller dumplings are usually potato-based.

Meat dishes

Roast pork with dumplings and Sauerkraut (pečené vepřové s knedlíky a se zelím, colloquially vepřo-knedlo-zelo) is considered the most popular Czech dish. They can be prepared from scratch, from cabbage or from sauerkraut, which is most common. There are different varieties, from sour to sweet. Red or white cabbage can be used.

Marinated beef sirloin (svíčková na smetaně or simply svíčková). Braised beef, usually lard
Lard is pig fat in both its rendered and unrendered forms. Lard was commonly used in many cuisines as a cooking fat or shortening, or as a spread similar to butter. Its use in contemporary cuisine has diminished because of health concerns posed by its saturated-fat content and its often negative...

ed, with a thick sauce of carrot
The carrot is a root vegetable, usually orange in colour, though purple, red, white, and yellow varieties exist. It has a crisp texture when fresh...

, parsley root, celeriac
Celeriac is also known as celery root, turnip-rooted celery or knob celery. It is a kind of celery, grown as a root vegetable primarily for its large and bulbous hypocotyl rather than for its stem and leaves. The swollen hypocotyl is typically used when it is about 10–12 cm in...

, and cream
Cream is a dairy product that is composed of the higher-butterfat layer skimmed from the top of milk before homogenization. In un-homogenized milk, over time, the lighter fat rises to the top. In the industrial production of cream this process is accelerated by using centrifuges called "separators"...

. This dish is often served with Knedlíky, chantilly cream, a teaspoon of cranberry
Cranberries are a group of evergreen dwarf shrubs or trailing vines in the subgenus Oxycoccus of the genus Vaccinium. In some methods of classification, Oxycoccus is regarded as a genus in its own right...

Compote is a dessert originating from 17th century France made of whole or pieces of fruit in sugar syrup. Whole fruits are immersed in water and with sugar and spices added to the dish, over gentle heat. The syrup may be seasoned with vanilla, lemon or orange peel, cinnamon sticks or powder,...

, and a slice of lemon
The lemon is both a small evergreen tree native to Asia, and the tree's ellipsoidal yellow fruit. The fruit is used for culinary and non-culinary purposes throughout the world – primarily for its juice, though the pulp and rind are also used, mainly in cooking and baking...



Since beer is a big part of Czech life, many popular Czech dishes and cheeses are usually eaten as pub fare.

Bramboráky (regionally called cmunda or vošouch in Pilsen and "strik" or "striky" in Czech Silesia
Czech Silesia
Czech Silesia is an unofficial name of one of the three Czech lands and a section of the Silesian historical region. It is located in the north-east of the Czech Republic, predominantly in the Moravian-Silesian Region, with a section in the northern Olomouc Region...

) are fried pancakes made (very similar to rosti) of rough-grated or fine-grated raw potatoes (brambory in Czech), flour and sometimes sliced sausages (although this is not common, because bramboráky are usually intended to be a vegetarian meal) or sauerkraut
Sauerkraut , directly translated from German: "sour cabbage", is finely shredded cabbage that has been fermented by various lactic acid bacteria, including Leuconostoc, Lactobacillus, and Pediococcus. It has a long shelf-life and a distinctive sour flavor, both of which result from the lactic acid...

. They are spiced with marjoram, salt, pepper, and garlic, and usually sized to fit the cooking dish. Smaller variants are often eaten as a side dish. There is a similar dish from the Slovakian-Ruthenian borderland called harula, which is prepared with less milk and fat, and the addition of an onion. Harula are baked on tin in an oven instead of frying.

Utopenci (literally "drowned") are piquantly pickled bratwurst
A bratwurst is a sausage usually composed of veal, pork or beef. The plural in German is Bratwürste....

s (Czech "špekáčky") in sweet-sour vinegar marinade with black pepper, bayleaf, lots of raw onion and chilli peppers.


Smažený sýr
Smažený sýr
Smažený sýr is a Czech and Slovak cheese-based dish.A slice of cheese, usually Edam and about 1.5 cm in thickness, is breaded with flour, egg and breadcrumbs and fried either in a pan or in a deep fryer. It is often served with a side salad or red cabbage, potatoes , and typically with tartar...

(locally smažák) is maybe the less noble, but the most contemporary of Czech national dishes. A slice of cheese (usually Edam or Camembert) about 1 cm thick (or whole Camembert) is coated in bread-crumbs like Wiener schnitzel
Wiener schnitzel
Schnitzel is a traditional Austrian dish made with boneless meat thinned with a mallet , coated in bread crumbs and fried. It is a popular part of Viennese, Austrian cuisine and German Cuisine...

 and fried and served with tartar sauce
Tartar sauce
Tartare sauce is a creamy white sauce frequently used to season fried seafood dishes.-Composition:...

 (tatarská omáčka in Czech) and potatoes.

Nakládaný hermelín is a soft cheese, same family as brie
Brie is a historic region of France most famous for its dairy products, especially Brie cheese. It was once divided into two sections ruled by different feudal lords: the western Brie française, corresponding roughly to the modern department of Seine-et-Marne in the Île-de-France region; the...

 marinated with peppers, onion etc. in oil. Camembert can also be deep fried as above.

Pivní sýr (Beer Cheese) is a soft cheese, usually mixed with raw onions and mustard, and spread on toasted bread.

Olomoucké syrečky
Olomoucké syrecky
Olomoucké syrečky or olomoucké tvarůžky is a ripened soft cheese made in Loštice, Czech Republic, which is very easy to recognize by its strong scent and yellowish colour. It is named after the city of Olomouc and contains only 0.6% of fat....

or "tvarůžky" is an aged cheese with a strong odour. It's made in Loštice, a small town in Moravia. The tradition of making this cheese dates back to the 15th century. The company A.W. of Josef Wesselss started to produce it in 1876. Tvarůžky can be prepared in a number of ways—for example, you can fry it, marinate it, or add it to Bramboráky.


Soup is a generally warm food that is made by combining ingredients such as meat and vegetables with stock, juice, water, or another liquid. Hot soups are additionally characterized by boiling solid ingredients in liquids in a pot until the flavors are extracted, forming a broth.Traditionally,...

 plays an important role in Czech cuisine. Czech meals usually consist of two or more courses: the first course is traditionally soup, the second course is the main dish, and then other courses such as dessert or compote
Compote is a dessert originating from 17th century France made of whole or pieces of fruit in sugar syrup. Whole fruits are immersed in water and with sugar and spices added to the dish, over gentle heat. The syrup may be seasoned with vanilla, lemon or orange peel, cinnamon sticks or powder,...

 may follow. Common soups you can find in Czech restaurants are beef or chicken broth with noodles (optionally with liver dumplings), garlic soup with croutons (optionally with minced sausage, raw egg, cheese) and cabbage soup with minced sausage. Other soups, which are mainly cooked at home, are pea, bean or lentil soup
Lentil soup
Lentil soup, which is usually served hot, may be vegetarian, but can also be made with meat stock or pieces of meat. Red or green lentils may be used. Other ingredients may include vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, celery, parsley, and onion. Common added flavorings include garlic, cumin,...

, goulash soup, potato
The potato is a starchy, tuberous crop from the perennial Solanum tuberosum of the Solanaceae family . The word potato may refer to the plant itself as well as the edible tuber. In the region of the Andes, there are some other closely related cultivated potato species...

 soup, fish
Fish are a paraphyletic group of organisms that consist of all gill-bearing aquatic vertebrate animals that lack limbs with digits. Included in this definition are the living hagfish, lampreys, and cartilaginous and bony fish, as well as various extinct related groups...

 soup (carp broth is often served on Christmas), champignon mushroom soup and assortment of mixed vegetable soups.


Fruit dumpling
Dumplings are cooked balls of dough. They are based on flour, potatoes or bread, and may include meat, fish, vegetables, or sweets. They may be cooked by boiling, steaming, simmering, frying, or baking. They may have a filling, or there may be other ingredients mixed into the dough. Dumplings may...

s (ovocné knedlíky) are mostly made using plum
A plum or gage is a stone fruit tree in the genus Prunus, subgenus Prunus. The subgenus is distinguished from other subgenera in the shoots having a terminal bud and solitary side buds , the flowers in groups of one to five together on short stems, and the fruit having a groove running down one...

s (švestkové knedlíky) or apricot
The apricot, Prunus armeniaca, is a species of Prunus, classified with the plum in the subgenus Prunus. The native range is somewhat uncertain due to its extensive prehistoric cultivation.- Description :...

s (meruňkové knedlíky). Whole fruit, in some regions including the stones, are coated with potato or curd dough and steamed, then served with butter, sugar and sometimes milled poppy seed or tvaroh
Quark (cheese)
Quark is a type of fresh cheese, also known as tvorog , topfen , biezpiens , and varškė . It is made by warming soured milk until the desired degree of denaturation of milk proteins is met, and then strained...

(rarely also with cream instead of melted butter). Different varieties of fruit dumplings include strawberry, cherry, apricot, bilberry, or peach. They are usually eaten as a main dish.

Kolache is a type of pastry that holds a dollop of fruit rimmed by a puffy pillow of supple dough. Originating as a semisweet wedding dessert from Central Europe, they have become popular in parts of the United States...

 (Koláče) is a type of yeast pastry
Pastry is the name given to various kinds of baked products made from ingredients such as flour, sugar, milk, butter, shortening, baking powder and/or eggs. Small cakes, tarts and other sweet baked products are called "pastries."...

 consisting of fillings ranging from fruits to cheeses or poppy seed on doughnut. Buchty
Buchteln are sweet dumplings made of yeast dough, filled with jam, poppy seed paste or curd and baked in a large pan so that they stick together. The traditional Buchtel is filled with plum powidl jam...

 yeast pastry similar to Koláče, the same filling is wrapped in piece of dough and baked. Sweet dumplings with custard sauce (Buchtičky se šodo) are traditional Czech dumplings. The recipe comes from Czech roots, however, the bordering countries, mainly Slovakia, Poland, and Hungary consider Buchtičky se šodo as food that came from their country. Vánočka
Vánočka is a bread, baked in Czech Republic and Slovakia traditionally at Christmastime. It is rich in eggs and butter, making it similar to brioche. Lemon rind and nutmeg add color and flavor; the dough can also contain raisins and almonds, and is braided like challah...

is prepared for Christmas
Christmas or Christmas Day is an annual holiday generally celebrated on December 25 by billions of people around the world. It is a Christian feast that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, liturgically closing the Advent season and initiating the season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days...

, along with many kinds of biscuits and sweets (vánoční cukroví). Vánočka
Vánočka is a bread, baked in Czech Republic and Slovakia traditionally at Christmastime. It is rich in eggs and butter, making it similar to brioche. Lemon rind and nutmeg add color and flavor; the dough can also contain raisins and almonds, and is braided like challah...

is the same type of pastry as Jewish Challah
Challah also khale ,, berches , barkis , bergis , chałka , vánočka , zopf and kitke , is a special braided bread eaten on...


With the exception of Koláče and vánoční cukroví, most sweets are consumed with coffee in the late afternoon, rather than immediately after a main meal. Koláče are commonly eaten at breakfast.


Aside from slivovitz
Slivovitz or Slivovitsais a distilled beverage made from Damson plums. It is frequently called plum brandy, and in the Balkans is part of the category of drinks called rakia...

, Czech beer
Czech beer
Beer in the Czech Republic has a long and important history. The first brewery is known to have existed in 1118. The city of Brno had the right to brew beer from the 12th century, and the two cities most associated with Czech beer, Plzeň and České Budějovice , had breweries in the 13th...

 and wine
Czech wine
Wine in the Czech Republic is produced mainly in southern Moravia, although a few vineyards are located in Bohemia. However, Moravia accounts for around 96% of the country's vineyards, which is why Czech wine is more often referred to as Moravian wine ...

, Czechs also produce two uniquely Czech liquors, Fernet Stock
Fernet Stock
Fernet Stock is a herbal bitters made in Plzeň-Božkov, Czech Republic and in Trieste, Italy. It is flavoured with approximately 14 herbs, imported from the Mediterranean and the Alps...

 and Becherovka
Becherovka is a herbal bitters that is produced in Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic, by the Jan Becher company. The brand is owned by Pernod Ricard....

. Kofola
Kofola is a carbonated soft drink produced in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. It is the principal rival of Coca-Cola and Pepsi in these two markets.- History :...

 is a non-alcoholic Czech soft drink
Soft drink
A soft drink is a non-alcoholic beverage that typically contains water , a sweetener, and a flavoring agent...

 somewhat similar in look and taste to Coca-Cola
Coca-Cola is a carbonated soft drink sold in stores, restaurants, and vending machines in more than 200 countries. It is produced by The Coca-Cola Company of Atlanta, Georgia, and is often referred to simply as Coke...

 but not as sweet. A mixed drink consisting of Becherovka and tonic water
Tonic water
Tonic water is a carbonated soft drink in which quinine is dissolved. Originally used as a prophylactic against malaria, tonic water usually now has a significantly lower quinine content and is consumed for its distinctively bitter taste...

 is called Beton (concrete
Concrete is a composite construction material, composed of cement and other cementitious materials such as fly ash and slag cement, aggregate , water and chemical admixtures.The word concrete comes from the Latin word...

in Czech). Beton is an abbreviation of BEcherovka and TONic. Another popular mixed drink is Fernet Stock mixed with tonic, called "Bavorák" (literally: the bavaria
Bavaria, formally the Free State of Bavaria is a state of Germany, located in the southeast of Germany. With an area of , it is the largest state by area, forming almost 20% of the total land area of Germany...


External links

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