Czech delicacies will be perfect if you want to bring a bit of European culture into your December evenings. If you are worried about where to find the proper ingredients for these dishes, then do not. The Czech recipes like apple compote are relatively easy to make, and the ingredients are not that hard to find.
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Here are Seven Czech Delicacies You Should Try Once This Holiday Season
Traditionally served during Christmas and New Year, this apple dish is a classic winter dessert loved in the Czech Republic. You only need apples (red or green), red wine, water, brown sugar, cinnamon sticks, lemon juice, and cloves.
Just peel the apples after boiling them and remove their skin. Then, store the compote in the refrigerator to chill until it is time to serve.
Roast pork is a main Czech Christmas dish. The meat is almost always served with sauerkraut or potatoes and sometimes dumplings as well.
There are many variations of this dish. But one thing remains constant: the meat must be pork. The only seasoning needed for roast pork is salt and pepper, according to taste. Roast pork is usually served with horseradish sauce, mustard, or sometimes both.
Baked Cheese Dumplings (with Applesauce and Sour Cream)
This dish is an old-timey Czech recipe that has been passed down through generations. Many older Czechs consider these dumplings comfort food, who fondly remember their mothers and grandmothers making it in cold winter months.
Baked cheese dumplings are quite simple to prepare. Flour, eggs, salt, butter, and water are mixed into a dough, and then dumplings are formed. The last ingredient added is grated cheese, which gives the dumplings their distinct flavor and good mouth-feel.
When cooking, the cheese melts and becomes gooey inside each of the dumplings, providing a gratifying contrast between warm and cold, gooey and crunchy, etc.
Cheese dumplings are best served with a side of applesauce and sour cream. The sweetness of the applesauce complements perfectly the taste of the dumplings, which are sometimes a bit salty from the cheese.
Semolina Dumplings with Compote or Fried Breadcrumbs
Semolina dumplings are a traditional Czecho-Slovak dessert usually served as a side dish. It consists of semolina, eggs, cream, and sugar rolled into the shape of a dumpling. The dumplings are then boiled in sugar syrup. Lastly, they are served with either apple compote or fried breadcrumbs.
Fruit soup is often served as a starter before serving the main course at large family gatherings during the holiday season. In the past, it was done as a first course for Christmas dinner. But nowadays, it is more likely that the soup is served after the main dish.
The fruit of choice depends on the time of year and availability. But what does not change is the addition of at least three types of fruits in making this soup. Commonly used fruits are apples, pears, prunes, apricots, and raisins. A dark Czech beer called Staropramen is also added. But you can prepare the fruit soup without the beer.
This soup is usually served warm (not hot) and is full of flavor from the beer. If you’re feeling adventurous, try this soup at your next holiday gathering.
Goulash (Don’t Forget to Add Potatoes!)
Goulash is the most common main course dish that people eat in the Czech Republic during the winter season, and it is often eaten on Christmas day. The goulash is beef cubes cooked with onions, peppers, carrots, bay leaves, salt, and pepper.
The addition of the potatoes makes Goulash special. The potatoes are cooked along with the meat, and their taste works perfectly with the goulash. The potatoes are often partially cooked before being put into the oven with the rest of the ingredients to ensure they cook correctly without burning or drying out. During cooking, add some water from time to time to keep the goulash moist.
Christmas Pancakes (Making them in the Czech Way)
Christmas pancakes are a staple of Christmas dinner in many homes. They also make for great desserts. Pancakes are typically made from flour, sugar, yeast, milk, water, and some salt. The dough is allowed to rise for about 20 minutes before it is rolled out into thin circles and cooked over low heat with lots of butter.
After one side is cooked, pancakes are flipped over to cook on the other side. The pancakes are then layered into a baking dish, covered with sugar and cinnamon, and baked for about 30 minutes.
So, now you must have acquired a fair idea of Czech delicacies. Do try these seven Czech holiday traditions.