Czech Republic is a country with rich history and beautiful green forests and picturesque hills. Its capital, Prague, is full of stunning historical buildings – the Charles Bridge as well as the Prague Castle which is the biggest one in Europe, grabs your attention. However, Czech Republic isn’t only about architectural gems and natural wonders. The Czechs are also known for their hospitality, delicious beer and tasty food. All Czech cuisine is worth a try but traditional desserts and pastry are worth a special mention. Czech cuisine has inherited many influences, and mixes vernacular Czech traditions from villages with the heritage of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire. The sweet delicacies you will read about here testify that. Here is a list of the best ones to try!
Jablecny zavin - Strudel
Let’s begin our sweet review with the most popular Czech dessert called “Jablecny Zavin”. “Jablecny Zavin” is the Czech denomination for the well-known “Strudel”. This dessert, common both in both Czech and Austrian cultures, is a layered pastry, usually filled with grated apples, cinnamon and raisins. Its preparation includes a large plate of puff pastry that is topped with the sweet filling and then rolled in a shape of a U. After baking, the roll is cut into large slices that are traditionally served hot with homemade whipped cream and vanilla custard on the side. Even if the apple filling is the more common one, you can find many more interesting fillings. The cottage cheese and apricots fillings are a must-try!! Taste these delicious Strudels at the n Café Savoy at Vítězná 124/5. The lovely art nouveau interior and perfect service of this establishment will make your gourmand experience gain a new dimension.
“Kolac” in singular, or “Kolace” in plural, is the name given to a large variety of pastries originated from Czech villages. Kolace were usually eaten during important events such as weddings or parish fairs. These pastries consists of a round piece of leavened dough topped with some sweet filling, the most traditional of which are the plum jam, the cottage cheese with raisins or poppy seed filling. You can also find kolace with strawberry jam or pear puree fillings. The size, as well as the combination of fillings, is extremely varied. You can find small sized kolace with just one type of filling, or you can buy bigger ones, with mixed fillings, large enough to feed an entire family. During villages’ festivities, it is possible to find kolace as big as 2m large and those are normally used to fun and games. The funniest of this type of games is the one played in duel. The goal is to eat up the dough as quick as possible in order to win a money piece hidden in the centre of the kolac.You can find the best kolace at the Liberske Lahudky bakery at Vodičkova Street 9 in Prague.
Another popular pastry that you can find mainly in street markets in Prague (Staromestske Namesti market is the most popular one) is called Staroceske Trdlo or simply Trdlo. This delicious sweet cake is originated from Hungary and consists of a piece of leavened dough that is rolled by hand into a thin snake shape. The dough is then twisted around a metallic roller and dipped in a mix of sugar, vanilla, nuts and cinnamon. Afterwards, the roller is put over fire and rolled until the dough is cooked. The dough bakes there until it gets a golden tone and the melting sugar creates a sort of crunchy caramel crust. Trdlo has to be eaten fresh and hot, so it is served directly from the grill. It is definitely the best thing to eat during the cold winter months The sweet taste of hot baked dough and the mix of smells will make you forget the surrounding weather and will warm up your body and mind.
Now, let’s talk about “Medovnik”, the delicious multi-layered Czech cake. The translation of “Medovnik” is “Honey cake” – and, has the name reveals, its main ingredient is honey. In fact, the base of the cake are the layers of a sponge dough, made of flour, butter, eggs, honey, sugar and nuts. These layers are alternated with delicious filling made of caramelized milk - the Czech variation the South-American dessert “Dulce de Leche”, one could say. Once the cake is complete, it has to rest at least one day in the fridge for all the flavours to blend perfectly. Before serving, Medovnik is usually topped with chopped nuts that give it the special crunchy touch to the sweet honey taste. Try it at Mama Coffee at Vodičkova 674/6. Accompany medovnik with some good cup of tea but, let me warn you, medovnik is highly addictive!
To end up the list of Czech desserts, one can’t forget the majestic and truly decadent chocolate cake called “Parizsky dort” – “Parisian cake”. This cake is the real king of Prague’s cake shops and cafés – resembling the desserts from the most distinguished Vienna’s cafés, this cake is part of the city’s culture and you won’t find it among the vernacular sweet treats. Parisian cake is made of a chocolate sponge dough layer coated with jam and filled with a chocolate whipped cream named “Parisian” in Czech. The origin of this “Parisian” designation is still a big mystery and cause of disbelief among French visitors. Parisian or not, this whipped cream is really delicious and its preparation consists of a mix of high quality melted dark chocolate with cream. . The whole cake is then coated by a thin chocolate layer. This triple chocolate cake is divine and you can’t miss it. You can surely find it in Ovocny Svetozor in Vodickova Street in Prague.
Best Czech Pastry
Czech cuisine is extremely rich and shows historic influences from many other countries. This fact is perfectly reflected on its desserts, reflecting both Czech traditions as well as Austrian-Hungarian Empire influences. With so many choices to choose from, the hardest task will be to choose only a few. Take this list as the best suggestions of desserts to try when visiting Czech Republic.
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