Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Czech Republic – food from far away, wine from round the corner

August 30-September 12

Hello everyone!

Our third year in Prague has begun as the second finished: lots of food and plenty of plonk.

Czech food isn’t designed to be enjoyed in the summer. Hearty and stomach-expanding, meals such as pork knuckle and goulash are wonderful in the colder winter months. But eating Czech food in the summer is a bit of a challenge.

It wasn't just us two who ate all of that food, I promise

Thankfully, Prague is an international city stocked with food from around the world. Much of this was on show at a street food festival in a district to the north of the centre. From meat from South America to Japanese sushi, this was a gluttonous global food tour.

Vietnamese dumplings

Mexican mini-taco
Ignoring the fact that my first few days after returning from the Balkans were spent staring at relentless rain, August was a scorching month in the Czech Republic. One of the best ways to cool off in the summer heat is with an ice-cream. Luckily for us, a major ice-cream festival was occurring a mere few stops from the street food festival.

Other food festivals we have been to were excellent value for money. The ice-cream one was not. A surprisingly dear entrance fee (150Kc) was not the only cost in order to get a frozen treat. Though discounted from their regular prices, I imagine it would take a lot more than the five ice-creams I sampled in order to make the overall experience more value for money.

Really good ice-cream though. Coconut to die for.

Coconut ice-cream: creamy heaven

None of what we sampled on that fine late August day can be called as genuinely Czech cuisine. What is most definitely local produce is burcak (pronounced burr-CHACK), a young wine which is usually only produced in September.

Red and white wine has never looked so...cloudy

Burcak looks very different to your stereotypical image of ‘wine’. It is much cloudier and thicker, tasting more like fruit juice than cabernet sauvignon. It is also much more potent than you realise when drinking it, which can often result in a sore head. I suffered this consequence a couple of years ago, so heeded the warning and drank the pink drink slowly.

The vineyard of Troja in Prague
Burcak festivals spring up across Prague throughout September. The one we attended had a spectacular setting in the city’s botanical gardens high above the centre.

The Japanese section of the botanical gardens
One month into year three, three delicious festivals. Nice to be back!

Love you all


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