Czech Republic

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

Czech Republic for most of the 20th century perceived as a single country with slovakia. They thus share much culinary history.

The western part of the Czech Republic, adjoining Poland, Germany, and Austria, corresponds to the former kingdom of Bohemia, whose territory represented quite precisely the centre of Europe and which was poised on the frontier between the German and Slavonic parts of that continent. The territory was also a rich one for agriculture.

Bohemia had a high reputation for cookery skills and is said to have provided many cooks for Vienna, the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, to which Bohemia belonged. There was no doubt an influence in both directions, with results still visible. Generally, however, Czech fare tends to be more robust than that of neighbouring Austria, with considerable emphasis on root vegetables and dumplings as well as on the meat which they accompany and the soups which they fortify.