Czechoslovak Culture: Recipes History and Folk Arts

The two cultures of the Czech Roma
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For the most part, tourists loved Prague in spite of the food rather than because of it. After 40 years of communism, the culinary splendor that once dominated Czech culture was a distant memory due, in part, to one very specific cookbook. As a former cultural capital of both the Holy Roman and Habsburg Empires, ingredients and ideas once flowed freely between Prague and major metropolises in Austria, Hungary, Italy, France, and beyond. Czechs were roasting goose better than Germans, using gnocchi in ways the Italians never thought of, and incorporating French techniques that made their meat sauces even richer.

Economic and gastronomic excellence even survived the First World War.


Every person was issued coupons that signified the amount of bread, sugar, meat, and fat they could obtain children under ten were given additional rations of butter and milk. But after a few years, Jews were forbidden to purchase fruit, cheese, and meat. Daily life was such a challenge and access was so limited that cooking was no longer a priority.

Occupiers encouraged Czechs to cook Eintopf a one-pot potato stew , but this was a far cry from traditional Sunday roast, and it never quite caught on. Those fortunate enough to have family in the country would meet them at quiet train stations to receive black market eggs and meat. When communists came to power in , citizens were hopeful they could return to a life containing more prewar luxuries.

Though the quality of food improved, life under socialist ideas still proved restrictive. Twenty years later, when liberalization started to gain traction, the party saw a need for even stricter control. In an effort to consolidate power, they purged reformist officials from the government and established a range of restrictions on everyday activities.

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Eating was no exception. Ladislav Pravaan, curator of the Gastronomie Muzeum of Prague , explains that the book even specified sources and serving styles for everything from sauces to side dishes. In the book, calorie count and vitamin details were listed alongside ingredients and instructions, and certain recipes were suggested for certain professions.

Portion sizes were designed by the hundreds, indicating that select dishes were to be cooked in large quantities each day. Cooks that wanted to deviate from these recipes had to get approval from the Ministry of Health, a request that could take years to go through. Most people opted for the easier route, which is how thousands of nearly identical menus came to be established across the country. Each bite was calculated as a means of productivity, and dining for pleasure was considered extravagant.

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Children ate at school cafeterias, and parents dined at work cantinas. Since prices were controlled and salaries were largely uniform, everyone could afford restaurants. Another problem? Farms became collectivized by the state, which meant even previously ubiquitous ingredients such as asparagus, broccoli, and thyme became largely unavailable. Pravaan recalls interruptions in basic supplies including onions and garlic as well. Imported fruits and vegetables were missed most, though. Jan Valenta, of Taste of Prague food tours , remembers craving oranges and receiving a rare treat of gift-wrapped bananas under the Christmas tree.

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But after communism fell in , the markets exploded. At the time, Valenta lived next to the first Western supermarket in the city. People would ogle the seafood section and ask how to cook fish, squid, and shrimp.

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The Newly Renovated Cultural Heritage Building tells the story of one of Virginia's most historic and oldest counties. The Center is termed "regional" because its story is truly one of the regions, having at one time stretched to part of today's North Carolina border and the Blue Ridge Mountains.

In fact, seventeen counties and five partial counties came from the original Prince George County that was founded in In , the Center opened a second building that included a Czech-Slovak Gallery in celebration of an exciting culture that became an integral part of this area after the Civil War. The opening ceremony of the Festival was extremely eventful with the band leading the Czech Singers in singing the American, Czech and Slovak National Anthems all in their native languages.

A welcome and ribbon cutting, by the Chudoba and Zitta families, represented all of our generous donors. The gallery was designed by John Moser Productions, Inc. To visit this museum, it is open Monday through Friday, from 10 to 4. Mark your calendars now for the Festival which will be held on the third Saturday, October 15, An estimated people attended our festival this year and now plans are underway for our 4th Annual Folklife Festival to be held on October 15, Mark your calendars!!!!

Remove from heat, add sugar and butter; stir allowing to melt while cooling. Set aside. Add salt to 4 cups flour. In a large mixing bowl, add the egg and other wet ingredients to the flour adding more flour as needed to form a soft dough. Knead until soft and pliable about 10 minutes by hand or until dough pulls away from the bowl in one piece if using a mixer.

The Culinary History Of The Czech Republic Is Alive And Well In Prague

Place dough into a greased bowl and allow to rise until doubled in size. Once the dough has doubled in size, remove to a lightly floured surface and gently deflate. Divide dough in half. Form into rounds and place in greased pans or baking sheets. Cover and let rise until doubled. Simmer for an additional 15 minutes. Makes 4 servings. Procedure In a mixing bowl, combine beaten egg, milk, flour, baking powder, and salt until smooth.

Add bread cubes in batter and mix well. Make 2 small balls from the dough. Fill a large pot about half full with water and bring to a boil. Remove immediately from the water and cut in half to release steam. Serve with roast pork, sauerkraut, or kure na paprice see recipe below. Kure Na Paprice Chicken Paprikas.

Procedure Season chicken with 1 teaspoon paprika, salt and pepper. Set aside. Add butter to skillet. Add remaining 3 teaspoons paprika and stir.

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Search Store. Make Offer -. Picture Information. Like us on Facebook to get the latest on the world's hidden wonders. Seafood is not widely available because the country is not located by any large bodies of water. Czechs go fishing for carp before Christmas Eve and usually keep the fish alive in the bathtub until it is ready to be prepared. Brod broke his promise and published them instead , making Kafka into the legend he is today.

Add chicken broth to mixture and boil until sauce is thickened, about 8 minutes. Place chicken back in skillet. Turn heat down to low and add sour cream, mixing to blend thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Makes 6 to 8 servings. Procedure Heat beans in a large saucepan over medium heat until cooked through, about 3 minutes. Add salt to taste.

Add the water and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium. In a frying pan, heat the shortening over medium heat until it melts. Add the beef and onion and fry, about 4 minutes. Season with pepper.

Dust the meat with flour and allow it to brown.