Written by Elena Jerabkova and Hana Horova
Learn more about Bohemian and Moravian Regional Cuisine
Bohemian and Moravian cuisine has been influenced by German, Austrian and Hungarian cuisine.
Typical ingredients used in Czech cuisine are potatoes, flour, legumes, vegetables and meat (especially pork, beef and chicken).
Most Czech meals usually consist of two or three courses. The first course is soup. It is the most important part of all the meals. There is a saying that says: “Polevka je grunt”. This can be translated as: “Soup is the base”. The second course is the main dish. There might be a third course, which is commonly a salad, dessert or compote.
There are many kinds of soups as chicken, beef or vegetable broth; cabbage soup with sausage; garlic soup or potato soup. One special one is called “Kulajda” a traditional Bohemian soup made of sour cream, potatoes, mushrooms, dill and egg. Another specific soup is “Kyselo”, a Northern Bohemian soup made from sourdough rye bread, mushrooms and caraway. Carp soup is traditionally eaten on Christmas Eve. With the fish fried accompanied by potato salad.
The main dish usually consists of roasted or fried meat and a side dish. The meat can be served plain or (more often) with sauce. Side dish can be boiled or mashed potatoes, rice, pasta, grilled vegetable or the typical Czech dumplings (Knedliky). Czech cuisine has many kinds of dumplings made out of rolls, potatoes, flour, and with bacon. There is also sweet fruit filled dumplings.
One famous and festive Czech dish is roasted sirloin in cream sauce with cranberries and dumpling, it is called Svickova. Other sauces or gravies are made with tomato, dill or mushroom Goulash is another popular dish in the Czech Republic. It originated in Hungary. Many people consider roast pork with dumplings and sauerkraut (vepro-knedlo-zelo) the typical Czech meal and can be found in every traditional Czech restaurant.
Pastries are an important part of Czech cuisine. Many people are used to eating sweets for breakfast. Babovka is a typical pastry to eat with your morning cup of tea or coffee. Kolac is a type of round pastry filled with fruit (jam), cream cheese or poppy seed. Kolace are in various sizes. Pancake sized Kolace are typical for Moravia. Buchty is a yeast pastry similar to Kolace, except the filling is inside. You might have heard of apple strudel (Zavin in Czech), originally an Austrian dessert. It is served in almost every traditional Czech restaurant. The tradition of baking Christmas cookies are very popular and even friends compete with each other for having more kinds of Christmas cookies. Gingerbread is also very popular in the Czech Republic (the tradition comes from the Pardubice Region).
We cannot talk about Bohemian and Moravian food without mentioning Czech Beer as it is world-famous and enjoyed in the whole country. Beer maybe more popular in Bohemia, while in Moravia wine might the favorite.
„This section on Czech traditions is maintained thanks to the support of the Rudolf Jelinek Company. For more information about this original Czech distillery, please click here.”