On Friday people all around the Czech Republic began celebrating Saint Martin’s Day, which falls on November 11. According to a Czech proverb, it is the day which brings the first snow to the country. In recent years, however, the day has mostly been associated with the arrival of the season’s first wine and with the traditional feast of roast goose.
Creamy soup from leftover mashed potatoes or vinegar made from fruit and vegetable scraps - these are just some of the many recipes included in a new cook book by the Initiative Zachraň Jídlo or Save Food. Its aim is to teach Czech consumers to reduce household waste by providing tips and recipes using food scraps, leftovers and surplus seasonal ingredients.
Plant-based “meat” is gaining popularity the world over and it is not just vegetarians who are jumping on the bandwagon. Chicken strips, patties, burgers or sausages made from plant substitutes are now widely available in the Czech Republic and despite the high price many are willing to give them a try.
The vast majority of Czech consumers, some 97 percent, want tougher quality parameters on foodstuffs sold in the country, according to a June survey whose results were made public by the Czech Consumer Association on Tuesday. More than nine out of ten respondents also said that they wouldn’t mind if the tougher rules resulted in restrictions on cheap food imports.
The international volunteer group Food Not Bombs has been providing free food to the homeless and hungry since 1980, and now has branches throughout the Czech Republic. In recent weeks, police and inspectors in an Ostrava district have been preventing volunteers from distributing food on orders from City Hall officials.
Kampot Pepper, a gourmet pepper sought after by chefs around the world, comes from Kampot province on the south coast of the Kingdom of Cambodia. Klara Dohnalova and David Pavel discovered it on their first trip to the country and soon set up a business aimed at bringing Czechs a whole new culinary experience. Their company Pepperfield offers a luxury line of black, red and white Kampot pepper that is guaranteed to spice up any dish. They came to Radio Prague’s studio to talk about their enterprise and started out by telling me what inspired them
Two Prague restaurants have reason to celebrate, having retained their Michelin one-star status in the 2018 Main Cities of Europe Michelin Guide. La Degustation Boheme Bourgeoise in Prague’s Old Town can boast holding its one-star-status for over a decade, while Field, one of the world’s least expensive Michelin-starred restaurants, has maintained it for three years in a row.
Josef Maršálek was born in a tiny Moravian village where half the residents were his direct relatives – and the nearest shop, let alone patisserie, was beyond walking distance. Yet, his early love of baking would one day lead him to become head pastry chef at the world-famous Harrod’s department store in London. Now, after a sabbatical of sorts in India, he’s back in Prague, gearing up to co-host the Czech version of the wildly popular show the Great British Bake Off.
If you visit the Czech countryside at the start of the year you are likely to receive an invitation to attend a "zabijačka" – in other words a pig-slaughter feast; a centuries old tradition that is still observed in many parts of the country. While for some it is a barbaric practice that has no place in the present-day, for others it is an important part of village folklore that brings people together.