Highest point: Mount Sněžka (1,602 m above sea level, Giant Mountains)
Lowest point: the source of the River Labe (115 m above-sea-level, Hřensko)
Biggest dam: Lipno (4,870 hectares)
Biggest natural lake: Černé jezero (18.4 hectares)
Longest river: Vltava (433 km)
Over the centuries, Czech cooking has absorbed various specialties from its neighbors: Slovakia, Austria, Germany, Hungary… but as one of the cultural crossroads of Europe, Prague knew as well French as Italian or Russian influences.
The relatively cool climate is the reason why traditional Czech cuisine promotes meat, sauce, and heavy trimmings with only seasonal use of vegetables. Among meats, pork is the most common, but duck, goose, and game are also extremely popular.
Many traditional Czech entrées, such as sausages with horseradish or poppy-seeds pretzels, are served with beer.
Potatoes are still the main ingredient of many popular Czech dishes, e.g. the potato pancake “bramborák” aromatized with marjoram and garlic. Another traditional vegetable is the sauerkraut, which can be used for all kinds of purposes: salads, soups, pancakes, side-dishes, fillings…
Czechs are also known for their sweet tooth and make fabulous, rich desserts. That particular art especially flourished in the 19th century and it enriched the cuisine of the whole central-European region. Apple strudel and various kinds of cakes like “babovka” are considered as traditional in Prague as they are in Vienna, and constitute one of the more cherished parts of a shared imperial heritage.
Czech cuisine isn’t very dietary and it’s not the best choice for vegetarians but can offer some interesting and favorite meals. The traditional choice is potato soup and roast pork with dumplings and cabbage. Dumplings are very popular and frequent. You may find them with many sauces and of course sweet dumplings filled with fruit.
Czech meal often starts with soup. Some popular are the potato soup, garlic soup, beef soup with liver dumplings, chicken noodle soup, and tripe soup. The main course usually consists of meat and a side dish. The most popular meats are chicken and pork, sometimes beef, often with some sauce. Popular fish are trout and carp (carp is a traditional Christmas meal). The most common side dishes are boiled, mashed or roasted potatoes, rice, bread, or potato dumplings.