#120: Czech Republic

If you haven’t been, Prague is one of the wonders of the world.

Trust me on this one, it’s gorgeous, historical and foodie paradise. If I’m being perfectly honest, which you know I am, I didn’t care for the libations in the great country of CR. There was this spiced liquor called Becherovka, which I can only describe as 38% ABV version of paint thinner meets gin. It was not my cup of whiskey at all. But cest la vie, I’ll stick with their beer!  Along with the beer, I also really have come to love to sentiments of the Czech people… now, that might be a smidgen on the bias because my family is Slovak and until currently, the Czech Republic and Slovakia were the same exact place. But, seriously, these people have the right head-space. Here is my case study:

  • “Bez peněz do hospody nelez”   —>  “Don’t go to the pub without money”, very wise and very unwise at the same time. I dig the dichotomy. I too am a walking contradiction.
  • “Na každém šprochu pravdy troche”   —>  “There’s a bit of truth in every gossip”
  • Stokrát nic umořilo osla”  —>  “A hundred times nothing killed the donkey”…alright, to be fair, this one lost me in the translation; but it made me laugh.

THE DINNER: I have to say, the best turn of phrase for this coming weekend’s food adventure was this one Bez práce nejsou koláčewhich translates into “Without work, there are no koláče”. For those of you that aren’t fluent or well versed in puffy pastry lingo, “koláče” are like the Czech answer to the Danish. It’s a flaky pastry filled with jam, fruit or chocolate and served all times of the day and night. This bad boy does double duty as dessert and breakfast. I love me a multitasking food 😉 The name of the specific koláče we picked was “Dukat Buhtle”. These little gems are pretty much like a vacation to Prague. To which my gypsy soul says, “Amen.”

Dukat Buhtle Recipe: http://tortelina.blogspot.com/2012/05/dukat-buhtle.html

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OVERALL COUNTRY SCORE:

Ease of prep and cooking: FOUR STARS out of five this meal!
Don’t panic. I will explain myself. Four stars comes from the sheer fact that the recipe is in Bosnian. That was the first hurdle. Once translated, everything was obviously in metric. No surprise there, but the specific conversion from deciliters is ridiculous and tedious and time consuming. The dough was really hard to work with, as it is incredibly sticky- but not too much work apart from that. I have to say, though, that I loved the exact nature of converting Celsius to Fahrenheit. I mean, come on! What baker doesn’t get a little kick out of 356degrees. That’s adorable and breaks it up for a seasoned baker. Speaking of being seasoned bakers—call it altitude or what have you, but it did not make 25 Dukat Buhtle… it made 17. So, maybe something else (like the remaining 8 Dukat Buhtle) was also “lost in translation” 😉 like the licks to the center of a tootsie pop- the world may never know.

Best dish of all time scale: FIVE STARS out of five for Meal!!
Well, damn it all to hell, the Czech proverb of “without work, there are no koláče” really does pan out here. Haha, “pan” see what I did there? Anyway, back on track, these were worth all the strange conversions, all the weird phrasing the translator spit out and all the time waiting for the dough to proof. When we tasted them, I had a hard time immediately placing what the dough reminded me of. Then it hit me like a five pound sack of all-purpose enriched flour! These have the consistency of biscuits. They’re dough like, but flaky; sweet but not “un-savory” (yes, I made that word up to prove my point. Call it creative liberty). They are buttery and melt in your mouth. I’m pretty stoked to try the jam and fruit versions. I will need to double to dough on the next attempt. These babies flew off the shelf. Fives all around, especially from our “Russian judge”.

While the Broncos did nothing to secure a win this weekend, the Rapids advanced over LA in a shootout shocker! We will be progressing with a “W” into next week’s country too for  #121. Can’t wait to see what the little island of Sri Lanka brings to our table!!

Already listening to Christmas music- don’t judge 😉

OXOX, 
– L & K

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