Svíčková – The Ubiquitous Czech Dish

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Taste the nation, have some svíčková!

The Republic on a Plate

If you find yourself in the Czech Republic and ask the average Czech what would be the most authentic Czech dish you could eat to get a real taste for the national cuisine, chances are very good that they will say one word: “Svíčková”

Svíčková, a marinated beef dish served with dumplings, is a dish steeped in history and pride. Every Czech will tell you that his or her grandmother or mother makes the absolute best Svíčková anywhere and no self respecting Czech grandmother or mother will part with her particular recipe for it easily if at all.

Happily, if you can’t get an invitation from a Czech to a home cooked plate of the national dish, no restaurant in the country worth its salt that serves any amount of national cuisine will be without at least one variation of svíčková on their menus.

Try it Yourself

If you’re not planning to be in the Czech Republic anytime soon and don’t have a Czech restaurant in your vicinity, don’t despair! Here’s two examples of many recipes you can use to try making your own:

http://www.czechcookbook.com/beef-sirlon-with-cream-sauce-svickova-na-smetane/

http://www.czechspecials.cz/recipes/svickova-na-smetane/?lang=en-us

These articles will give you some good insights into how svíčková fits into Czech culture and how selective some people can be about how best to make it:

http://praguemonitor.com/2010/03/12/d%C4%9Bdas-sv%C3%AD%C4%8Dkov%C3%A1

http://www.radio.cz/en/section/czech-life/svickova-a-czech-classic

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