Czech cuisine has influences from surrounding countries such as Austria, Germany and Slovakia. The main feature of Czech cuisine is meat – the most common is pork (with the most popular meal – roast pork with dumplings and cabbage called “knedlo, vepřo, zelo”) as well as beef, chicken, goose, duck and rabbit.
Fish is not very common, however, the traditional Czech Christmas dinner consists of potato salad with fried carp. One of the most common side dish of every Czech meal are dumplings, made from wheat or potato. Czech small dishes which are mostly served in pubs include pickled camembert or sausage (utopenec) and fried cheese or potato pancakes (bramborák).
The most common dilemma of Czech dining is whether you have 4 or 5 dumplings (čtyři nebo pět knedlíků) with your Svičková or Guláš. Svičková represents a truly unconventional combination of meat, sauce, dumplings and whipped cream with cranberry sauce. One can argue, whether Guláš (goulash) is actually a Hungarian, Slovak or Czech dish, however, this more traditional flavoured meal is served in every Czech restaurant. Sauces to be served with meat can vary greatly. There is Rajská – meat in tomato sauce or Koprovka – dumplings with a sauce made of chopped dill, butter, and cream. Another absolute favorite is Smažený řízek – a piece of chicken, beef or pork steak coated in flour, egg, and breadcrumbs, fried and served with boiled or mashed potatoes.
Desserts include many kinds of pastries and cakes. Fruit dumplings filled with apricots, berries or plums and served warm with melted butter and crumbles of cottage cheese are very popular. Popular drinks are beer, slivovice (plum brandy) and Becherovka (herbal liqueur from Karlovy Vary) and Moravian wine.