Czech cuisine has benefited from Austrian, Hungarian, German and Polish influences. A typical meal consists of meat with dumplings, cabbage, and potatoes or rice with a thick gravy. Pork is a favourite meat. Poultry such as chicken or goose may be roasted and served with dumplings and sauerkraut. The most popular bread is rye, which may be flavoured with caraway or poppy seeds. Sour cream, lemon or vinegar are used to season food.
  Did you know?
The Czechs drink more beer than any other people in the world. Two Czech beers are Pilsner Urquell, produced in Plzen (Pilsen), and Budweiser, produced in Ceské Budejovice.
The main meal of the day is usually eaten at midday. On weekdays it may be eaten quickly, but on Sundays most families sit down to a large home-cooked meal. Supper is usually light and may consist of meats and cheeses with bread. Beer (pivo) is enjoyed with many meals.

 Knedlíky (dumplings) are a Czech specialty. They usually accompany meat dishes, but may also be served as dessert. The most common are those made with flour called houskové knedlíky. Potato dumplings are called bramborové knedlíky. Dumplings made with flour and potato are called pul na pul. Ovocné knedlíky are small, fruit-filled dumplings, covered with powdered sugar.

Czechs enjoy snacking on smoked meats or thick spicy pork or beef sausages. These are served with mustard and horseradish and eaten on a wheat roll or rye bread. Patties made from grated raw potato and garlic are also favourites.

 The traditional dish at Christmas dinner is carp. Markets sell live carp in large containers during the Christmas season. Other traditional Christmas dishes include vanilkové rohlícky, crescent-shaped sweets, flavoured with vanilla and almonds and dusted with icing sugar, served as dessert. A light fruit cake, vánocka, is served after dinner.

  Švestkove Knedlíky

4 tbsp butter
2 eggs
pinch of salt
500 ml sifted all-purpose flour
500 g boiled potatoes, diced
12-15 pitted plums
50 ml cinnamon sugar or poppy seeds
250 ml fine breadcrumbs


Cream 2 tbsp butter with eggs and salt. Gradually beat in the flour and potatoes. The dough should be stiff. On a floured board, roll out the dough until it is 5 mm thick. Cut in into 7-cm squares. Place a plum on each square, sprinkle with sugar, and fold the edges over the plum to form a square. Place the dumplings in a pot of boiling water, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Melt the remaining butter in the pan and brown the breadcrumbs. When the dumplings are cooked, roll them in the breadcrumbs, then sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon sugar.