I tell everyone about this kielbasa sausage, Vahala – top product of Czech origin. The Czech name is klobása. Some people laugh at me and wonder how I can get so excited about a sausage. Fair enough, laugh all you want, but trust me, you must try this sausage. I’ve convinced a few people to try it out, and every time I have my 35 minute stopover at Prague airport on my way back to Amsterdam, I grab the sausages and run to my gate.
We spent our second night in Frýdek-Místek at Staročeská bašta, a Czech cuisine restaurant. It also had pizza, burgers and buffalo wings, but for the most part, authentic Czech food. Czech cuisine is very meat-based, and in particular pork is abundant. Do not order fish in this country! The meals are the kind that will sustain you through a long winter, so heavy and with lots of carbs. A staple is the dumpling (knedlíky), which is wheat or potato based. The wheat ones are steamed and then sliced like bread, and have a strong resemblance to the Chinese mantau (steamed bun). So perusing the menu I was looking for something with pork and dumplings… (more…)
This is my fourth and final work visit to Frýdek-Místek in the past six months. Wondering where that is? It is a tiny town in the Czech Republic, population 60,000, and perhaps 30 minutes from Ostrava. It used to be two independent towns, Frýdek and Místek, divided by the Ostravice River. But then the prince of Frýdek fell in love with the princess of Místek and they united the two towns. That is obviously a blatant lie, but it makes for a better story than the truth, which is that the Nazis forced the towns to merge during the occupation in WWII. Enough of the history lesson, because this is where it gets weird. There are a lot of Koreans in this town. In a big city this would, of course, not be weird. But this is Frýdek-Místek! The very first time I travelled here I immediately noticed the large amount of Korean men on the flight. What are they doing here, I wondered. Turns out the answer was simple, there’s a Hyundai factory nearby. And then came the gem: where there are Koreans, there are Korean restaurants. So I go to Restaurant Benu every time I’m here. Last night my predictability in food choice was proven when a colleague that lives here decided to try to find us without calling and here was his reasoning process: they’re out for dinner. There’s two likely places, the Irish pub or the Korean. Selma is with them. They are at the Korean. (more…)