Well, my fears about Czech food have been unfounded. I have plenty of pictures of deliciousness. Let’s start with preserved foods, shall we?
Czechs love smoked meat. I did not know what to expect when I ordered “pork neck.” It turned out to be a particularly delicious ham. And the sauerkraut is excellent. Wrap the two up in a giant potato pancake, and you’re good to go.
And here is preserved meat at a sumptuous conference buffet, in a handful of different guises: ham rolls, sliced ham, salami, etc., as well as smoked salmon and pickled vegetables. The interior of this building is an art nouveau orgy, with tile, woodwork, and metalwork fashioned by local boy Mucha and others.
Pickled bratwurst anyone? Not the best picture in the world, but let’s face it: sausage isn’t exactly Marilyn Monroe. This version is a humble pub opener, served with pimiento inside the slit and pickled onions.
And I wouldn’t be me without a picture of the local pickles. They’re a little bit sweet, and these were spicy. I brought some pickled tiny yellow pattypan squash to a party last night, and they were delicious. Good thing I’m growing pattypans.
Stinky cheese. It has to stand alone, because of the smell. Another childhood riddle solved.
Beer. What can I say about beer? It flows in the streets, especially at 5 in the morning when the college students stagger back to their (my) hostel. But until then, it’s a happy experience. The usual serving is a third of a liter, and they bring it out in giant mugs. I haven’t tried the dark beer one of my colleagues had here at one of the many Italian restaurants yet, but I will. It’s been hard to break away from the standard Pilsner Urquell, a beer that tastes completely different here.
Next up…street food!