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Czech Republic 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 Eastern Europe originated in the Czech lands.

Czech cuisine is marked by a strong emphasis on meat dishes. Pork is quite common, and beef and chicken are also popular. Goose, duck, rabbit and wild game are served. Fish is rare, with the occasional exception of fresh trout and carp, which is served at Christmas.

Czech recipes are extremely popular, and even if they are influenced by other cuisines, are still appreciated as individualised and with a particular taste. Traditional dishes are usually prepared in same ways, no matter the country region. The potato soup, the traditional roast pork with dumplings and sauerkraut, and the fruit filled strudels are normally made with very few regional differences. The cabbage for instance is one particular dish that is preferred to be sour in the Bohemian regions, but sweet in the Moravian parts of the country. There are 14 regions all over the Czech Republic, and the techniques used in the preparation methods keeps them unified together, all of them using salt, ground black or red pepper, dill, caraway, marjoram or thyme as the main condiments. Still, in some Moravian parts of the Czech Republic, you will find a typical dish mostly made only here, the plum dumplings. Also you’ll find mushroom dishes such as kulajda (cream of mushroom soup), kyselo (mushroom sour cream sauce). In the country parts including the Brno city and surroundings, the potato pancake and fruit dumplings are some of the best deserts found. In the Prague region the diversity of dishes includes potatoes, cabbage soup, fruit dumplings, garlic soup, potato pancakes and cottage cheese. Ostrava region is well known for the best roast pork, with dumplings and cabbage, and the Pltzen area has people that prepare the most delicious beef sirloin in cream sauce, pork schnitzel and goulash.


Soup 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 may follow. Common soups you can find in Czech restaurants are beef or chicken broth with noodles (optionally with liver dumplings), garlic soup with fried bread (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, tomato soup, leek or broccoli soup (optionally with fried bread), goulash soup, potato soup, fish soup (carp broth is often served on Christmas), champignon soup and assortment of mixed vegetable soups.

Meat Dishes

Roast pork with dumplings and sauerkraut (vepřová pečeně 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) is also popular. Roast beef, usually larded, with a thick sauce of carrot, parsley root, root celery, and cream. This dish is often served with knedlíky, a cream topping, a teaspoon of cranberry compote, and a slice of lemon.

Side Dishes

Knedlíky (boiled and sliced dumplings) 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 balls) occurs more often. The smaller dumplings are usually potato-based.


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) are fried pancakes made (very similar to latkes) of rough-grated or fine-grated raw potatoes (brambory), flour, milk and sometimes sliced sausages (although this is not common, because bramboráky are usually intended to be a vegetarian meal) or sauerkraut. 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 bratwursts (špekáčky) in sweet-sour vinegar stock with black pepper, bayleaf, lots of raw onion and cayenne pepper.

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