I’m sorry for the awful pun in the title of this post, but I had to use it at some point. It would be wrong to come to the Czech Republic and not make some kind of pun with that. The topic of this post is also in the title. It’s time to talk about FOOD!
First off, let me tell y’all that food here is cheap and delicious. I can go out to a sit-down restaurant and get a ton of food for somewhere between $6 and $7. In America it’s hard to get fast food for that cheap, let alone decent food. We’ve found a couple of places around the dorms and Institute that we go to a lot because they have tasty food and are super convenient. In addition to food at restaurants, I’m taking a culinary class (not for credit) to learn to make some of the more traditional Czech foods.
The best part about food in the Czech Republic is brunch. Most of the cafés serve brunch all day. Right beside our dorms is a little place called The Farm, and it’s one of the top 10 cafés in Prague supposedly. That’s one of my favorite places to get a late breakfast. They make these really thick pancakes and cover them in strawberry sauce, cinnamon, and slices of strawberry. Pairing this with their raspberry lemonade makes for a really good start to the day. My favorite place for breakfast food is called Waf-Waf. They only sell waffles and crepes, but when you go there you get to pick what toppings you want. I usually get nutella and strawberries on top of mine and get a chocolate milkshake. I also love Waf-Waf because it’s painted bright pink and is just really pretty and happy! Closer to the institute is The Venue, which is little more pricey but is also incredible. They have really good chicken and waffles.
Lunch and dinner tend to be at cheaper, more Czech places. The first night here we went to Lokal, which is fittingly named because we were the only foreigners who were there. Czech meals typically involve some kind of meat and potatoes. That first night I got fried chicken (very different from what I’m used to!) with mashed potatoes. That was also the first and only time I’ve gotten a beer, and I got it by accident. They just kind of brought them to us. I’m not opposed to drinking while I’m here (I have a bottle of wine sitting in the fridge), but I really don’t like beer. I prefer going to Fraktal, which is actually kind of a strange place but is really good. It serves Mexican food and then things like hamburgers, but again, they aren’t like what we’re used to. I ordered chicken wings and fries, and the wings were similar but they were served with what seemed like an entire loaf of bread. The fries also had butter on them, which I’d never thought about but was really really good.
My culinary class is definitely where I am getting the best idea of what people eat here. We’ve made two kinds of soup, both amazing, and desserts that are to die for. We even made noodles from scratch on Monday. I’d never done that before and had never really considered how it was done. We’ve made two kinds of cake (different than American versions of cakes) and fill them with fresh fruit, nuts, and different kinds of spreads. They’ve all been delicious. At some point, we’re going to spend one entire class on cakes and coffees alone. All of us are very excited for that lesson!
Presentation is also really important here. In America, the food is just kind of slapped on the plate if you aren’t somewhere that’s really nice. Here, even cheap food is arranged on the plate in a way that’s pleasing to the eye. My $6 meals here look nicer than more expensive ones do back home! I’m actually going to miss the food here more than I thought I would. The food I’ll be happiest to have at home is ice. It sounds dumb, but I miss having ice in my drinks! It’s especially hard when I want to bring a water bottle to class. Or drink Pepsi. Pepsi with ice is one of life’s simple pleasures that I’m excited to have again when I get home.
We leave this Friday for an excursion to Dresden, Germany and Lidice, Czech Republic. All of the students at the Prague Institute are going on this trip. We’re going to hike and see a castle and go to the memorial of a village that was massacred by the Nazis in World War II. I’m pretty excited to see everything, especially whatever is on the hike. Next time I write, it’ll be from Germany!