Old Bohemian cuisine originated as a blend of regional cuisines predominantly from the era of the Austro-Hungarian empire, in which the greatest influences were from the culinary traditions of our neighbours, namely Austria, Hungary and in part also Germany (Bavaria).
In the period before the establishment of the First Czechoslovak Republic it is not possible to speak of typical Czech cuisine, since Prague was under the influence not only of Viennese fashions, but also of its cuisine. With regard to the fact that outside of the capital pork and beef were consumed only on special occasions, predominantly in the winter months when the meat kept for longer, the regular diet was composed mainly of potatoes, pulses, mushrooms, as well as occasionally fish and poultry. A number of dishes (potato pancake, pearl barley with mushrooms, sweet filled buns) and mainly soups Kulajda (cream of mushroom with dill), Kyselo (sour dough soup), potato, garlic) are still served to this day.
During the period of the First Czechoslovak Republic (1918 – 1939) many of today’s typical “Czech dishes” established their roots in our cuisine, even if, as mentioned above, they originated from the recipes of our neighbours, such as Wiener schnitzel or sausages, Hungarian goulash, Szeged goulash, cabbage soup, strudel, dumplings etc. Czech cuisine is very rich but highly calorific, which is due amongst other factors to the climate and long winter, in contrast with lighter Italian and other Southern European cuisines, which contain far more fruit and vegetables and are easier to digest. Nevertheless, Czech cuisine is very tasty and distinctive. Since it is heavy on the stomach, it is perfectly complemented by the world famous Czech beer Pilsner Urquell, which you can sample here in combination with an Old Bohemian speciality. Try our home-smoked meats from the renowned Brouček family butcher’s from Velký Šál in the Podkrkonoší region. Their tradition reaches back as far as 1309, when Prague was attacked by Jan of Luxembourg and the butches from the nearby butcher’s stalls, led by the head of the butchers’ guild Jakub Matěj Brouček, fought their way through the closed Cattle gate in Dlouhá street with axes. Jan of Luxembourg then entered the city by this route and after a short battle emerged victorious. The Prague butchers were rewarded for their assistance with the emblem of their trade and the coat of arms of a lion with an axe. Jakub Matěj Brouček was promoted to the status of nobility and was appointed the administrator of the expansive estate in Velký Šál in the Podkrkonoší region, where the largest slaughterhouse within the territory of the state was located at the time. His family has remained faithful to his tradition to this day, and the master butcher Ervín Brouček, who is our exclusive supplier of smoked meats, wishes you bon appétit.