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.
In America, I’m usually willing to try new foods and drinks. Experience is everything and there’s no better time to try new things than in a new country. In Prague, I didn’t really know what to expect when it came to the food or drinking culture. The only two facts I knew about drinking in the Czech Republic were that beer is cheaper than water and the Czech Republic consumes more beer per capita than any other country in the world. In the United States, because I’m under 21, I’m not legally allowed to drink, but I was curious about what my drinking choices would be when I went abroad. When it came to the food, I only knew that I would be eating a lot of meat. With this small amount of information, my mind and taste buds were ready to take on Czech food.
So far, I’ve had a few different types of Czech foods that I know I won’t be able to find in America. I’ve been able to help make and eat homemade fried cheese and french fries, served with tartar sauce. If you have high cholesterol, I don’t recommend that you eat this because it can and will become addicting. After I ate it, although my stomach felt completely defeated by the meal, my mind was ready for round two… once the stuffed feeling went away. It’s hard and I’m usually tempted, but I try not to eat it every chance I get.
When I went on a retreat, I was able to taste an interesting flavor of chips. By the look of the bag, I thought they were ham flavored. To my surprise, when I ate one, the flavor was foreign to me because it tasted like bacon. At home, I’ve experienced the delicacy of a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich on a roll, but I’ve never had bacon in this form. A favorite chip of mine is salt and vinegar or sour cream and onion, but it seems as though bacon chips are the norm in the Czech Republic and I can’t understand why we don’t have them in America.
Last but not least, I feel as though there’s absolutely nothing that can compare to the svíčková. It’s beef served in a sauce with bread dumplings and has cranberries and whipped cream on the side. When my meal was placed in front of me, the aroma greeted me and did a high five with my sense of smell. I didn’t know what the sauce was made out of, or what to do with the cranberries and whipped cream, but I knew I had to eat the meal. When I took my first bite, I couldn’t help but thank my past self for making the decision to order my new, favorite Czech food.
When it comes to drinking, I’ve had the pleasure of having burčák, also known as the “young pulp wine’’ during September and early October. My first experience with it was a wine tasting at the Royal Gardens of Prague Castle. Being able to drink wine in a public place for the first time is freeing, to say the least. While at the event, I learned that I prefer the darker, purple colored burčák to the lighter, brown colored one. As an American who is under 21 and not allowed to drink yet, I was tempted to invest in my own bottle after drinking this. What stopped me from doing it? I was worried that I wouldn’t open the bottle enough and it would end up exploding in my refrigerator, something I’m pretty sure my flatmates wouldn’t have liked.
They say when in Rome, do as the Romans do. Well, when in Prague, eat the foods you know you won’t be able to get in your home country. You won’t regret it.
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