The 2015 Grand Restaurant Festival, an event that allows many to dine at the sort of high-end eateries they otherwise mightn’t be able to afford, has just kicked off in Prague and dozens of other Czech cities and towns. When we spoke, founder Pavel Maurer explained the thinking behind the popular festival – as well as discussing everything from foods Czechs are reluctant to try to his own “taste of childhood”.
Organic food is still a luxury for most Czechs and although forty percent of people say they buy organic food items occasionally, organic products still make up only one percent of overall food sales. Agriculture Minister Marian Jurečka blames the high mark-ups that supermarkets slap on “bio” products as they are known in the Czech Republic.
Firefighters and rescue workers are searching for a man who dissapeared when rafting on the Ohře River on Saturday. The raft with five men flipped over at a dam at Jakubov in the Karlovy Vary region, dumping them into the swollen river. Four of the rafters made it to the shore with no injuries. The Ohře River is currently under a flood alert due to heavy rainfall and melting snow.
As of December 13th 2014 new food allergy labelling legislation went into force across the EU. It requires food businesses to provide allergy information on pre-packaged foods as well as food sold unpackaged, for example in restaurants, deli counters, bakeries and sandwich bars. While the change for food producers has been fairly straightforward, albeit expensive, many restaurant owners are still looking for the least obtrusive way of providing this information to clients.
Many Czechs are preparing for an unusually long Christmas break from work. The combination of state holidays on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and a regular weekend means that a lot of people around the country will enjoy a five-day break, a situation that will not arise again until 2018. After that it will not recur until 2025. Czechs celebrate Christmas on the evening of December 24.
When the McDonald fast food chain arrived in the Czech Republic twenty-two years ago it was a huge hit. In the years that followed the company posted sales figures of two digits. But in recent years business has been slowing down and profits have been stagnating. The company’s Czech division has now announced major revitalization plans.
The light of Bethlehem, traditionally brought to the Czech Republic from Vienna by a group of scouts, is due to arrive in Brno just after 6.30 pm on Saturday. In the course of next week it will be taken to key destinations around the country and placed in churches and institutions from which people can take it to their homes. It will also burn at the Czech Radio building on Vinohradská street in Prague. The tradition of bringing the light of Bethlehem to the Czech Republic started in 1990 a year after the fall of communism.
The number of Czech inhabitants increased in the three-quarters of 2014 by 16,100 to 10.5 million, according to figures released by the Czech Statistics Office on Friday. The rise is attributed mainly to immigration, but also to an increasing number of births. Nearly 83,000 children were born in the country during the first nine months of this year while over 77,000 people died over the same period.
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