I only ate two things in Prague. Repeatedly. I couldn’t help myself. I found these two things everywhere and they were delicious, so I ate them over and over.
Trdlo or Trdelnik
These stands were everywhere — at the base of the Charles Bridge. In Old Town Square. Along every street in the tourist area. You could smell them, and then you couldn’t resist them.
Trdlo, or trdelnik, are sweet strips of dough wrapped around an iron rod. They are baked and then covered with cinnamon sugar. Vendors simply hand them over with a napkin (always red napkins when I bought them ??) and you can walk along pulling out sections of this delectable treat like a ribbon unraveling. They only cost about 2 Euros, so it got to be a habit.
Goulash or Gulas
When I was a kid, my friends’ parents made us Hungarian goulash at a dinner party. I hated it. Hated it, hated it, hated it. It had beef and spiral noodles, peppers, tomatoes and paprika. It was a hard lesson learned in being a polite dinner guest and eating what you’re served, but oh, I hated it.
This may make you wonder why I’d ever willingly order it myself. Well, my taste buds have changed and I like a lot of things I didn’t as a child, so while in Prague, I had to try this. It was advertised on every restaurant marquee as either Goulash in a bread bowl or with noodles.
I ordered it without bread the first time. My server’s English was limited, so I just knew that I didn’t want the bread bowl. But when he brought it to my table, it seemed to be served with circles of bread on the side. I was glad. I sopped up all that gravy and wished I had more.
Czech goulash is nothing like the “Hungarian goulash” I had as a kid. What I had in Prague was more like a beef stew with either red or white onions chopped on top and “noodles” served on the side. The noodles were those round pieces that I’d mistaken for bread. It tasted like a potato bread dumpling to me, and the beef tasted like it had been stewed in wine. Delicious every time I got it, though I preferred the tanginess of the red onion on top vs. white.
Either way, I finished off each meal with a Trdlo. 🙂
What local dishes do you go to over and over when you travel?