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Friday, September 17, 2010

Prague Food Festivals

It seems Prague is in the throes of full-blown food and drink festivities this weekend, so of course it’s bloody typical here that I am both a) working Saturday and Sunday and b) ill.

Still, on my day off today I valiantly roused myself from my sickbed to do a quick reckie of some of the epicurean events on offer this weekend, starting of course with the main event of the Prague Wine Festival on Manes Island from 17 – 19th September.

Tickets are 220 CZK for the whole three-day event, which includes a taster glass and introductory booklet detailing all the 51 various food and drink stands on offer.

On top of the ticket price, you have to purchase additional tokens (available in denominations of 10 / 15 in either 150 / 200 CZK bags) in order to buy any actual wine or nibbly bits here.

The emphasis here is on Moravian wine, but there are also stands serving wine from Slovakia, Austria, Hungary, Germany and France. Token price per tasting glass seemed to fall mainly within the 20 – 60 CZK range.

There were also several stands serving posh cheeses and salamis, as well as a Jan Paukert stall selling chlebíčky and other snacks and a main restaurant marquee run by the team from Ristorante Prosecco. Being there pretty early in the afternoon, I didn’t see the latter preparing any hot food yet, though they did have a deli corner where you could request combination dishes of various cheeses and cold cuts.

Feeling a bit under the weather myself, for once I didn’t actually sample any of the wonderful wine wares on offer, though will hopefully manage to squeeze a visit in before Sunday to make up for it – certainly there are more than enough varieties to choose from here!!

Across town over on Kampa is also the Česká chuťovka or “Slow Food” festival (no entrance fees required), a surprisingly small collection of stands serving – often apparently not particularly slow – Czech snack food and some cheese / meat / dairy produce from Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia (a deceptively long list of participants can be found here).

To be honest, there didn't seem to be much more here than at the usual Czech market stalls, though the Staročeská Kuchyné stand run by Paní Marušky had some tasty-looking meat and potato pancake options, which I might have gone for had I not still been feeling nauseous as hell at the time.

A neighbouring stand also did dishes of poppy-seed covered ovocné knedliky, though have to say they did not look particularly inspiring...

Over at Náměstí Míru (and upping sticks across to Havlíčkovy Sady on the Saturday), the annual autumn festival of Vinobraní na Grébovce was also in full swing when I stopped by today.

The main tent was manned by the good folk of Viniční Altán, one of my favourite wine spots in Prague (previously reviewed here), but again I was not really in a position to partake here...

I did enjoy having a potter round the various other arts and crafts / food and drink stands lining the square though, which included a seriously nice-looking bakery stall, various meat and cheese options, and a great spice market, not to mention of course all the usual sausage / burčak / trdelník etc options as well.

And last but not least, I also hear that the Česká hotovka cook-off is on this Saturday and Sunday over at Dom u Pinkasů in Prague 1.

From what I can make out via Google Translate, various restaurants will be competing in some kind of a svíčková cooking championship here, with visitors able to sample different versions on a token basis for an initial 250 CZK (but please don’t take me at my word here!).

As for me, having dragged myself all about town to check out three various culinary events and report back to you, dear reader, not having actually partaken in food or drink at any one of them myself, I finally tottered dizzily off home again for an (as I write ongoing) unenviable evening of snot, soup, and copious paracetemol instead...

Hopefully will be sufficiently on form again and find time between shifts to make proper use of my three-day Prague Wine Festival ticket at the very least; as for the rest of you out there, I hope you’re able to better enjoy than I… ;-)))))

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