Sourdough, caraway seed, ceps, chanterelles, potatoes and sour cream must all be included in genuine sour rye soup from Krkonoše. This traditional thick soup belongs among regional specialties that should appear on the menu of several hundred Czech restaurants as of the middle of this year.
The project, which is under the auspices of Czech Tourism, the Czech Association of Hotels and Restaurants and the Association of Cooks and Confectioners of the Czech Republic, should promote the Czech Republic through regional specialties.
Under the label “Czech Specials” restaurants participating in the project will offer sirloin steak with cream sauce and selected specialties from their regions,” Czech Tourism’s spokesman Filip Remenec said.
Potato soup from the mountains
As part of the project, chefs have prepared three recipes typical of every region of the Czech Republic.
“For example for Silesia, we chose smoked meat with horseradish sauce, while the traditionally rich Prague will offer goulash from rump steak,” said Martin Havel, the chef of Benice’s Park Holiday, who is one of the authors of the compiled set of recipes.
He says some of the dishes are typical of several regions and they only differ in their local preparation. “For example potato soup from the area near the Krkonoše mountains is thick, as it had to sustain mountain dwellers. On the other hand, in south Bohemia it is a broth with vegetables thickened with sour cream,” Havel said.
The project aims to promote not only traditional recipes, but also half-forgotten ingredients. “We want to return millet, peeled barley or, for example, quail back on local menus,” said Václav Stárek, the general secretary of the Czech Association of Hotels and Restaurants.
Remake of 58
Two renowned Prague chefs, Roman Paulus from hotel Radission SAS Alcron and Oldřich Sahajdák from La Degustation, also participated in the preparation of the traditional Czech recipes. They prepared variations of Czech cuisine inspired by dishes that had captivated visitors to the world’s fair Expo 58 in Brussels.
In March, the dishes will be served by the waiters of Prague’s Alcron. The details of the menu have not yet been disclosed.
One can therefore only speculate whether Sahajdák and Paulus have chosen Libochovice’s trout in papillote or Karlovy Vary’s roll from among the two hundred dishes served in Brussels in 1958. It is almost certain that there will be one of the several possible preparations of Prague ham, as it is Sahajdák’s favourite ingredient.
Translated with permission by the Prague Daily Monitor.