December 15th, 2010 by Sasha Martin – Comments (0)
There’s only one reason to go outside when temperatures drop below freezing: to enjoy the thrill of hot food thawing you out when you come home. Otherwise, I vote for staying in bed all day, snuggled under a comforter, watching chick flicks… or dude flicks (do they even make those?). Thankfully, the Czech Republic has many wonderful foods for bitterly cold winter days. This means that I’ll be able to leave the house this week. Hurrah!
The Czech Republic is in eastern Europe where summers are hot and winters are c-c-c-cold. The nation consumes dishes loaded with all manner of potatoes and cabbage, as well as stews and roasts. Think rugged, down-home cooking. Typical of many eastern European countries, the Czech Republic uses sour cream as a thickener, dipper, topper.. you name it, sour cream is in it. They also enjoy caraway seed and dill as principal seasoning agents.
You won’t believe it (I almost don’t believe it), but I dug up a dish that includes more than half of these ingredients: Potato & Pickle Soup [Recipe]. Oh yeah. Special thanks to those of you on our Facebook Fan Page who voted to include it on our menu this week and to Clifford A. Wright -one of my favorite cookbook authors – for sharing the recipe with us. (See our interview with Clifford A. Wright)
Funny thing about the Czech Republic is how much of their food can be found here, in America. When their immigrants, like so many others, came to our side of the “big, salty pond,” they cooked their favorite recipes to remind them of home. For example, you’ll find the much adored meat and sweet filled buns called Klobasneks/klobasnikis/Klobásové [Recipe] and Kolaches/Kolá?e [Recipe] dotted throughout our culinary landscape (most notably in Texas and Oklahoma, where entire festivals are dedicated to the treats).
For those with a bit of a sweet tooth, plums and apricots are beloved in the Czech Republic. When dried they are often cooked down with sweeteners into a thick, sticky filling for Kolaches. As for their savory counterparts, the Klobasneks/klobasnikis? There are many choices for fillings, but in my opinion there’s nothing better than wrapping dough around a spicy Kielbasa.
Sasha Martin - GlobalTableAdventure.com Contributor
Do you love International Cuisine? So does Sasha Martin. After all, she lived in Europe for six years and traveled to 11 countries before her 18th birthday. Then, while earning her B.A. at Wesleyan University (Middletown, CT), she wrote an honors thesis entitled “The History of Artisan Bread Baking in France.” After college, Sasha attended the Culinary Institue of America for a year (Hyde Park, NY). In 2005, her CIA internship brought her to Bama Pie’s R&D kitchens, right here in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Not long after she got here, Sasha met the love of her life and decided to stick around. There was just one problem: she missed the foreign foods she grew up with. A lightbult went off when she realized “Hey, I can make international foods right here in Tulsa!” and that’s just exactly what she’s doing.
Today Sasha is on a mission to cook one meal for every country in the world. That’s 195 meals! And, guess what? She’s doing it in 195 weeks. You can can follow her journey at the Global Table or by checking out her weekly update on Wednesday’s here at TulsaFood.com