I didn’t kiss a girl but I ate fried cheese in the Czech Republic. And I liked it!

Blueberry sponge cake.
Blueberry sponge cake.

We’re almost at the end of our Czech Republic skiing week.

I have introduced you to that little village in the Bohemian mountains called Rokytnice nad Jizerou and I told you of how I almost killed myself and fell off the skilift!

But you know, countries in this part of Europe are not known for having exquisite food. They’re not France you know! Even Germany has an image of cabbage and stodge and the Czech Republic is no different, so I’m going to introduce you to some Czech delights.

Horka Cokolada or Hot Chocolate with Cream!
Horka Cokolada or Hot Chocolate with Cream!

Our family-run hotel – Hotel Stary Mlyn had an excellent bargain of half board. That half-board was a combination of a buffet breakfast and a three (3) course evening meal consisting of a soup starter, a main-meal and a dessert. You can choose either to pre-book as soon as you get there or to choose whenever you felt like eating at the hotel. In our case, it was a godsend as it meant that we didn’t have to go into “town”. However, there are many restaurants and fast-food joints to choose from if you so desire, but reserving a table is recommended as only 3,000 people actually live in Rokytnice nad Jizerou!

I used to live in Prague and in those days I used to go an American-style trendy restaurant-bar-club that only served vegetarian food. That hip joint was called Radost FX. I used to go for the weekend brunch and as a creature of habit, I always ordered the same dish called “The Big Brain Scram”. It cost 135kc or €4.90 / $5.40 and consisted of three eggs scrambled with fresh spinach and enclosed in potatoes. It was yum!

Smažený sýr or Czech fried cheese!
Smažený Sýr or Czech fried cheese!

Czech food in the 90’s wasn’t that good.

In fact, it was downright awful!

I wasn’t a vegetarian but meat-dishes were slightly dodgy and you needed stomachs of steel. In fact, we all used to eat a cheese based dish called Smažený Sýr. Quite literally it was slices of cheese covered in breadcrumbs, and fried.

In oil.

Lots and lots of oil.

Smažený sýr being fried again and again and again!
Smažený Sýr being fried again and again and again!

For months, I had fried cheese for lunch and fried cheese for dinner. After I left the Czech Republic, I couldn’t even see cheese without wanting to throw up!

Happily that has changed. I still don’t think you’re going to get gourmet, but hardy rustic food in the cold of winter, and costing peanuts, never did anyone any harm. It might even make a man or woman out of you yet!

Get ready to lick your chops!

A CZECH BREAKFAST:

European tea with a slice of lemon or honey!
European tea with a slice of lemon or honey!

As I told you earlier, I used to live in the Czech Republic. In the 90’s. I was much younger then and in order to be able to live in a place, you’ve got to do as the locals do n’est–ce pas?!

So I was in a side street local cafe ordering a breakfast of bread, a boiled egg, and a cup of tea. I’m British, that’s what we do! Anyway, an old-ish man saw this and asked me what I was drinking. I told him.

He was disgusted.

“In Prague” he told me, “we drink beer and a little something to start the day.” He sent over a bottle of Czech beer (Staropramen if you must know), and a shot of Becherovka. He watched me as I downed it.

It was 9:30 a.m.

Becherovka, a type of herbal, spicy, aniseed Czech liquor!
Becherovka, a type of herbal, spicy, aniseed Czech liquor!

I looked around. Everyone was drinking beer and shots. And as ridiculously cheap as beer was, a cup of tea was by far, much more expensive!

I wanted to be “a local”. I joined in.

I did this for two years!?!!!!

That’s rock and roll baby. Rock and roll!

I’m a light-weight. I didn’t even drink alcohol at all until I left university. Then I moved to Prague and everything changed….!

But somehow it all seemed to work and fit together and so when I went back to England, I also went back to my one pint that could last two hours. And cocktails.

I’m quite controlled except for when I’m not. And I’m still a lightweight!

We had a "healthier" Czech breakfast of sort of scrambed egg pancake ball, some Czech sausage, cucumbers, tomatoes, and some ketchup!
We had a “healthier” Czech breakfast of sort of scrambled egg pancake ball, some Czech sausage, cucumbers, tomatoes, and some ketchup!

At Hotel Stary Mlyn we had a healthier breakfast that included eggs, Czech sausages, cucumbers, tomatoes, varieties of ham, salami, and cheese, lots of cake and bread and paté accompanied by a variety of breakfast cereals, juices, tea and coffee.

CZECH SOUPS:

Because soup!
Because soup!

I was ill in our week of skiing and at first all I could stomach was soup. Bowls and bowls of hot, steaming soup, and the kitchen didn’t disappoint. The soup above is called “Farmers’ Soup” and consisted of clear broth, mushrooms, scrambled egg and cheese!

Czech vegetable soup.
Czech vegetable soup.

I had clear vegetable soup that consisted of onions, carrots sprinkled with parsley and came served with white Czech rolls and Czech brown sliced bread. They are much harder to chew than English or American bread and come without butter, so I always had to order butter as “extra.”

Czech Onion Soup.
Czech Onion Soup.

I had Czech onion soup with croûtons. The croûtons were a bit thicker than normal and slightly salty or maybe they weren’t, I can’t be sure as I dislike extra salt added to my food!

Czech Potato Soup.
Czech Potato Soup.

Neither of us liked the Czech potato soup. It was filled with dices of potatoes, carrots, leeks, and some sort of herb that I couldn’t identity. To be honest, it looked liked vomit and tasted like vomit too!

Ah well!

CZECH MAIN COURSES:

A hearty Czech Potato Pancake Omelette!
A hearty Czech Potato pancake Omelette!

We always had dinner at the hotel and sometimes we had lunch too. They usually cost about 150kc or €5.50 / $6.00 and were enormously filling. In some cases leaving hardly any room for dinner but since I had a growing lad, a full lunch it sometimes had to be LOL!

The Czech potato pancake omelette above was a lunch item covered with chicken strips, mushrooms, cocktail tomatoes and Feltsalat also known as Rapunzel, lamb’s lettuce, corn salad, or mâche, and sprinkled with parsley.

I don’t like potato pancakes in any form but “The Tall Young Gentleman” found this meal impressive!

Czech Steaks.
Czech Steaks.

Oh yeah! Just look at those juicy steaks. This was another lunch item. I mean, if this was lunch what would dinner be like? We were completely and utterly spoilt! What a lovely dish of steak in a sort of mint sauce, fried potatoes, fried onions, and boiled potatoes sprinkled with parley. I couldn’t have any as it would have ruined my dinner, so I looked on and sipped my tea in earnest!

Czech pasta bake.
Czech pasta bake.

We both loved this Czech pasta bake filled with cream cheese, bacon, onions and peas, and accompanied by slices of sour gherkins also known as Czech cucumbers! It was a bit over-cooked but nevertheless, delightful. We could both have done with an extra serving, but there was no more to be had.

Pity!

Czech Dumplings.
Czech Dumplings.

We didn’t like the Czech dumplings.

I have never liked the Czech dumplings.

They taste like milk sop. You know the type you’d either give to a baby or somebody completely toothless!

Our main course was Czech dumplings with beef and dill sauce.

The dill sauce tasted weird.

Imagine a dish of milk sop covered in sop. We were both downcast and disappointed but thankfully, dessert saved the day!

CZECH DESSERT:

It's ice-cream, and you know it!
It’s ice-cream, and you know it!

I hardly think any explanation is needed but this hotel had a whole flurry of ice-cream sundaes, which you could order at lunch-time. I told you we were spoilt for choice. At dinner-time, dessert came in smaller portions but nevertheless up to par!

And so, vanilla ice-cream scoops with small-enough-chocolate-sprinkles-that-I-can-eat-it-even-though-I-can-still-see-them, and dollops of clotted cream!

Sourcherry Sponge Cake.
Sourcherry Sponge Cake.

Just look at that sponge cake with sour cherries sprinkled with castor sugar. Doesn’t it look delish?!

Who said that Czech food was only stodgy? Who said that Czech food was only rustic? Who said…?

Never mind, but would you take a look at that! So soft, so spongy, so…yum!

Czech Doughnuts.
Czech Doughnuts.

Czech doughnuts or Vdolky filled with jam and covered in castor sugar. These doughnuts were actually served for breakfast rather than dessert, and many years on the European Continent as opposed to on the British Isles, has taught me that just because it’s sweet doesn’t mean that you can’t have it for breakfast LOL!

It was all going so well when desserts of this nature turned up…

Chocolate Pudding.
Chocolate Pudding.

It was described on the menu as “vanilla pudding” but actually it was chocolate pudding with bananas hidden in each bowl.

CHOCOLATE PUDDING and BANANAS!

Yuk!

You all know my relationship with chocolate and how much I hate bananas. “The Tall Young Gentleman” is a cut of the same cloth and was of the exact same opinion! Doesn’t it all just look like poo!

And what about this horrible feature?

Ginger Chocolate Cake with Coconut.
Ginger Chocolate Cake with Coconut.

I mean, chocolate cake with berries.

Disgusting!

Why?

And with coconut too. You’re going to kill me!

For all of you who can actually eat this well, eat your heart out LOL and just hand over the fruit salad.

Fruit Salad Bowl.
Fruit Salad Bowl.

This mixed fruit salad bowl filled with the Vitamin C goodness of apple and oranges might not look as enticing as the chocolate sponge cake covered in coconut sprinkles, and dribbled over with I-don’t-know-what-berries-and-sauce, but at least, I won’t fall, choke, end up in rashes, or have difficulty in breathing, and die earlier than expected because of the shock!

OTHER CZECH STUFF:

Czech bread, butter & jam!
Czech bread, butter & jam!

The Czech Republic has a large variety of bread and the one you see above are Czech rolls with Czech Gouda cheese and Czech blueberry jam.

Czech Mixed Vegetable Salad.
Czech Mixed Vegetable Salad.

This Czech mixed salad was also put out in the evening for half-board hotel guests to completely help themselves with, before dinner started. A salad filed with the goodness of lettuce, tomatoes, green, red and yellow peppers, cucumber and lettuce.

Fish Fillet.
Fish Fillet.

There weren’t a lot of vegetarian dishes but you can’t go wrong with fried cheese LOL!

On a serious note, if you’re looking for something more substantial, we also had fish fillet for dinner with mashed peas and potatoes topped with red peppers and Feltsalat also known as Rapunzel, lamb’s lettuce, corn salad, or mâche, with a buttery sauce.

Tasting Czech Beer.
Tasting Czech Beer.

And lastly, you can’t be in the Czech Republic if you haven’t at least tried and tasted some of the good ol’ Czech beer or Pivo.

That’s right beer made from pale lagers or pilsner such as my favourite Staropramen, Pilsner Urquell, Gambrinus, Radegast, Krušovice and Budweiser Budvar (the Czech one not the American version!) and dark ales.

Prosím!

You’re welcome!

Ice, Ice Baby!
Ice, Ice Baby!

This article is not sponsored and all opinions and the fabulously enticing Czech dishes that I devoured, are my very own!

I have so much to share with you.

Next week, I’ll be participating in the pre-ITB Berlin party organised by Travel Massive on 03.03.15. This year the party is going to be in one of Berlin’s leading electronic music venues – @clubGRETCHEN – for an evening celebrating the travel industry. If you’re a blogger or just fancy a knees-up, register then come and meet us. It’s going to be so much fun!

I’ll also be at the International Travel Trade Fair – ITB taking place from 04.03.15 – 08.03.15 and after that I’ll be off travelling to the next destination which I will reveal next week!

As usual, you can also follow me via daily tweets and pictures on Twitter & FB!

If you’re not in Berlin in March, you’re in the wrong place!

March is going to be hopping.

Watch this space!

Czech food at it's most mouth-watering finest!
Czech food at it’s most mouth-watering finest!

Have you ever had Czech food or drink? What did you think of it?

See you in Berlin.

If you like this post or if you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

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47 thoughts on “I didn’t kiss a girl but I ate fried cheese in the Czech Republic. And I liked it!

  1. Most of these look pretty good to me :-). I don’t like the look of the potato soup, but the chocolate berry thing looks delicious. Federico does this grilled cheese thing, looks like the one in the picture, Scamorza it’s called. I like it. The beer looks very refreshing, but drinking it at 9am??? Mmmm .no.. I would skip that local tradition 🙂

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    1. Thanks kemkem! The potato soup was Yuk and the chocolate was Ewww but don’t let me stop you indulging. I’m weird like that LOL! As for Federico, please tell him not to contribute to the fried cheese cult. It sounds similar LOL!
      Czech beer is lovely and as you are married to an Italian and half-Italian yourself (Ho! Ho!), you know the saying,”when in Rome!” 🙂 🙂

      Like

    1. Thanks Agness! I loved everything about living in the Czech Republic. In Prague! I was tempted to stay on but they really couldn’t afford me LOL! However, I re-live my fantasies by eating and binging on Czech delights!

      Like

  2. Oh I love the blog title, Katy Perry would be so proud.

    Well Victoria I am so envious, I didn’t know that you used to live in Prague (one of my favourite cities). Not sure I could handle beginning the day with alcohol, even though the local beer is delightful.

    It sure looks like a culinary delight.

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    1. Thank you so much The Guy! I hope Katy Perry reads it too LOL!
      Yes, I used to live in Prague & Bratislava. I lived and worked there as a Project Manager with a British company. I loved it and pretty much had full control LOL! To be honest, I didn’t think I could handle the drinks either but I surprised myself!!?! I really did have a great time though and Czech food of recent has been impressive. 🙂

      Like

  3. Oh my gosh… I am literally drooling right now! And beer and shots for breakie! I should have lived in the Czech Republic, heck I should now! lol
    This looks like a fabulous time (because good food=good times). Thanks for sharing Victoria!

    Like

    1. Thanks my dear! It was sooooooo much fun. Thank goodness I was young & single in those days, I wouldn’t be able to survive it now LOL!
      The Czech Republic is still an excellent destination though even now, and just look at all that nosh! I’m still drooling. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh man, I want literally everything on this list (if I can pick out the mushrooms from the sauce please). I didnt eat that well in Prague, not sure why. Well, the first time around I didnt know any better and I was with a very finicky BF, and the second I was on a work trip and it was all catered lunches and VIP dinners that were ok but fairly generic. I am immensely jealous of your food experience in CzR!

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    1. Me too Anna. And feel free to pick out as many mushrooms as you like LOL! I’m surprised that you didn’t get to experience the delights of Czech food in Prague although it is easy to be lured away by the we-only-want-your-money-but-we’re-not-going-to-give-you-any-value places, and if you were with someone who’s picky, then it’s difficult. That hapened to me in Hungary. I did not have a good time there ‘cos the girl I was with didn’t want to do anything or go anywhere. And whined all the time….Sigh!
      I hope you can go to Prague again. I’m hoping to go to both Prague and Budapest this year. I have absolutely no clue when, but summer sitting on Charles Bridge (I don’t mind the crowds of tourists), sounds like heaven to me LOL!

      Like

      1. Yeah, the ex-BF was like a fussy baby (EVERY time we traveled… I guess we didnt work out for a reason), plus it was before travel blogs really took off, bc now I dont go anywhere w/o checking out a few of those on what to eat and where. In November I did go to that famed cafe in that famed gigantic art nouveau building right next to the entrance tower to the old town, and I had a traditional meal there… which was ok.

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      2. Yikes! Travelling with others is always testing. Testing the waters and the relationship. If you can survive the trip, you can survive anything…..LOL!
        p.s. I use blogs as my info platform too. They’re up to date and they’re by “real” people with a proper voice. Why do you think I’m going to Latvia? As soon as I saw Linda’s blog I was like, yep. ‘Going there. Even if she did write a lot of unpleasant things. ‘Doesn’t stop me in the least LOL! It’s still a real place right?
        Right?!
        And your blog pieces on Riga made me want to visit even more. It’s the same with Moscow. Whenever, I finally get it together and come over. We’re hanging out. The Russian way! 🙂 🙂

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      3. You know what’s hilarious? You going to Latvia as a result of Linda’s blog is the second testament to the failure of her badmouthing efforts 😉
        (And yes, you saw my Riga posts, right? it was great. Drink Balsams a LOT – the black currant stuff is amazing).

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      4. I know! She tried hard to deny us, but she utterly failed! 🙂 I’ve heard all about Balsams so of course, I’m going to personally find out what all the fuss is about. It’s called “I’ve-got-to-taste-everything-experimentation” theory!

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  5. I’ve never had Czech food and I think I would skip that potato soup, but I could definitely dig into those tasty-looking desserts. In Denmark some people also start the day with a so-called “bitter” (a kind of shot, a bit like Jägermeister).

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    1. Thanks Mitzie! Czech food isn’t bad at all LOL! You ought to try the desserts. I’d skip the potato soup too. Strange really as I do like potatoes just not in the dumpling or that soup LOL!
      And in Denmark they start with a “bitter” too? See! Not that disimilar after all LOL! 🙂

      Like

  6. Really cool pics..glad to be headed there in a bit. Hope to see everything and EAT everything..!
    Aargh..and now I’m kicking myself for not coming to Berlin, everyone is at ITB! I’ve missed big time! Looking forward to your stories though..!

    Like

    1. Fantastic Africanagirl. You’ll have a great time. They’re all quite lovely. Don’t forget to say a few words of Czech. It always helps to break the ice LOL! And yes, you should have gone to the ITB everyone was here LOL! More stories to come next week. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Ooooh Smažený Sýr how I loved you after a night of dancing!!! I lived in Prague too and, while I didn’t eat the stuff for lunch and dinner, I did love it at 3 in the morning 😀 As for the potato soup, I’ve never had one better than my mom’s. Our heritage is Czech, and she makes a soup from a recipe passed down the generations. It’s soooo delicious.

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