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Prague: Gastronomy - Chuck Fisher's LiveJournal [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
From Bay Area to Barcelona

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Prague: Gastronomy [ Wednesday, 26 Sep 07 | 19:01 ]
ursine1
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[My Location |El Masnou (Barcelona) España]
[My Mood |fullfull]

A typical Czech meal
Dumplings, potatoes, meat and gravy.

When Ruben was looking through his tourist guide for Prague, he remarked that there was only two pages devoted to gastronomy. We learned why when we there. Czech food is fairly heavy with lots of “dumplings”, potatoes, cabbage, and roasted meat all smothered in gravy. In contrast, Spanish food has more salads, vegetables, fruits and seafood.

Potato soup in a bread bowl
Similar to what you can get at Fisherman´s Wharf in San Francisco.
In this case a darker rye bread is used instead of “French” bread.


Food prices are much lower in Prague than in Barcelona. Tap beer is especially a good bargain. Typically you can get a half liter of draft beer for the equivalent of 1 €. The Czech Republic is famous for two brands of beer: Budweiser and Pilsner Urquell.

The original Budweiser beer is brewed in the Czech Republic. Also known as Czechvar in the US and Canada, Budweiser Budvar in various countries (including the Czech Republic, UK and Germany) and Budějovický Budvar in the rest of the world. The dual name is due to a trademark dispute with the Anheuser-Busch Company, makers of the American Budweiser brand. The Czech brewery is still state-owned.

And then there is Pilsner Urquell produced since 1842 in Pilsen. The beer is today a prominent brand of global brewing empire SABMiller, which also brews Miller beer in the US.

A mug of Pilsner Urquell

Pilsner Urquell is somewhat heavier and more strongly hopped than most pilsener beers. As its name indicates ("Urquell" means "original source"); it is the world's original pilsener, or golden beer. Most popular lagers produced in the rest of the world are based upon this beer. Any beer that calls itself a pilsner, pilsener or pils is referring to its being made in the style of this beer.

Me eating a gingerbread cookie in the shape of a mobile
Many other shapes were available.


All photos taken by Ruben.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: muckefuck
Wednesday, 26 Sep 07 | 18:11 (UTC)
My favourite nosh when I was in the Czech Republic (besides the ludicrously cheap ice cream) was open-faced sandwiches. I can't remember what these were called--tosty?--but they were cheap, very tasty, and not as heavy as a full-on Czech dinner.

As I remember, green salad is a relatively recent arrival to Spain, or at least the parts I've been to. It's only in the past couple decades that most Catalans have stopped cooking their vegetables to death. My Catalan teacher's parents were still rather put off by all the "uncooked" vegetables they were served when they visited him in the States, but they're from the backcountry.
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[User Picture]From: ursine1
Thursday, 27 Sep 07 | 05:22 (UTC)

Czech ice cream

I tried some Czech ice cream that they said was made fresh made on the premises. I thought it was OK, it reminded me of ice cream in the US. Ruben didn't care for it and prefers the Italian style, or gelato, found in Spain and Italy. Pavel doesn't have much of an opinion either way. Czech ice cream is cheaper than in Spain, but then that was generally true about food prices, I wouldn't call it ludicrously cheap though.

I didn't see any of those open-faced sandwiches, at least not being eaten on the street. We were mainly in tourist areas where groups were being shepherded around. Pavel took us to cheap, non-touristy restaurants.

Traditional Catalán vegetables are cooked British-style, meaning overcooked. I cook them less. Ruben hasn't complained about my American-style cooking. i tell him that it is all Spanish-produced food anyway. He really likes my ensalada mixta, but then so do Steve and Fred.

Chuck
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[User Picture]From: muckefuck
Thursday, 27 Sep 07 | 15:39 (UTC)
I was in the Czech Republic just after the Berlin Wall came down. At that time, a scoop of zmrzlina sold for three cents American. The gelato was much more expensive: I think I might've been out ten cents a scoop or more! (And this with a weak dollar!)
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[User Picture]From: ursine1
Friday, 28 Sep 07 | 06:20 (UTC)

A scoop of zmrzlina sold for three cents American

A scoop of ice cream now costs well over 25 Kc.

Chuck
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