Entering Ryby & Chips on Myslíkova St. in downtown Prague is akin to being teleported to a fish and chip shop in the UK or Ireland, albeit one where the menu is in Czech. Over the years, others have had little success in finding a market for this kind of fast food in the Czech capital. However, Ryby & Chips co-owner Matthew Salmon believes an authentic approach will set his recently opened eatery apart. When we spoke at Ryby & Chips, I first asked Salmon about the genesis of the business.
Petra Pospěchová’s recently published Regionální Kuchařka, or Regional Cookbook, is full of interesting recipes from around the Czech Republic, from her native Valašsko in the east of the country to the former Sudetenland in the west and all points in between, with each section introducing readers to a dozen or so local specialities. When I met Pospěchová, one of the country’s best-known food writers, I asked her if it had perhaps taken somebody from outside Prague to put together such a book.
Over 170 tonnes of food was donated to Czech charities and NGOs in the second national food collection that took place over the weekend. Individuals, supermarket chains and food producers all chipped in to provide some 350,000 meals for those in need. Organizers consider the food drive’s second edition a major success, and say that a recent change in tax rules will prompt companies to donate more food in the future. I discussed the results of the national food collection with Pavlína Kalousová, the head of Business for Society, a corporate responsibility platform
Prague’s Žižkov district is where you’ll find Bohemia Retro, a vintage clothing store packed with hard-to-find items mainly from pre-1989 Czechoslovakia. The cosy, colourful shop is run by Rebecca Eastwood, an expat Brit and part-time singer who has been resident here since the early 1990s. When I stopped by at Bohemia Retro the other day, I began by asking Eastwood what had brought her to this part of the world in the first place.
Tailored tours for relatively small groups with particular interests have become a trend in the tourism industry in recent times. One such excursion available in the Czech capital goes under the banner Eating Prague Tours and sees locals taking visitors to restaurants, cafés and food stores and offering them an “insider’s” insight into Czech cuisine. I discussed its services – and more – with Eating Prague Tours’ operations manager, Mirka Charlotte Kostelková.
Life expectancy in the Czech Republic has risen markedly since the fall of communism 25 years ago, the Czech News Agency reported. Life expectancy for men has increased from 68 to 75 years and for women from 75 to 81 years. Seniors make up over 17 percent of the population, compared to just below 13 percent in 1989, while the old age pensions are now 10 percent higher in real terms. Life expectancy has also risen in Slovakia, but less than in the Czech part of the former federal state, the Czech News Agency said.
No matter how fast I’m walking through the city, one of the things that can make me immediately slow down is the aroma of food. I like the smell of food, I like trying new foods, and of course, I like eating food. Without doing much research on the Czech Republic, one of the things I was most anxious and excited to experience was the food because I didn’t know what it would entail.
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