Thankfully though, I’m quite the meat lover, so this isn’t a problem: gimme a steak and baked potato, and I’m a happy camper. Before I came to Prague I asked some friends who’d previously studied abroad there, “What sort of food do Czech people eat?” I got pretty much the same answer: some variation of meat and potatoes. Hoorah for me!!!! Right?
No, not really. Now, I’m no foodie, but I appreciate food more than the average person. It isn’t uncommon for me to rant and rave about the perfect combination of flavors and subtlety of spices that I encounter in a given dish. I have, on occasion, been known to affectionately embrace my favorite foods with a glimmer of fondness in my eye. Additionally, I’m not what one would consider a picky eater. Really, I just like to stuff my face.
Prague is a beautiful city (more on this in a later post), but Czech food is … plain leaning towards unappetizing, unfortunately. This in no way takes away from my experience, and I certainly didn’t come here because of the cuisine (I came for the architecture, the history, and so forth). But, if you’re an American who has had the misfortune to not eat my mother’s excellent mediterranean cooking, and hope to experience wonderful, exotic foods on your study abroad trip, I wouldn’t recommend medieval eastern Europe.
Pictured is a traditional Czech dish, svickova (based on my now-rudimentary understanding, I believe it’s pronounced: sveech-koh-vah). Those white things that look like bread are in fact potato dumplings–they are rather bland and tasteless. Usually these are served with some sort of meat, commonly beef or pork, and it all wallows in entirely too much gravy. It’s often bizarrely topped with a bit of whipped cream and a berry or two, which most people neglect to eat. I think this is some feeble attempt at beautifying the plate.
However! There are some tasty things that I have consumed in the Czech Republic, so stay tuned for “The Czech Republic’s Tasty Foods.”
I also saw a beautiful castle. More on that later.