Czech cuisine offers various types of dumplings (knedlíky in Czech), making use of all sorts of ingredients. Especially tasty are fruit dumplings, which are traditionally filled or glazed with apricots, plums, cherries, or other fruits.
The first written recipe for this dish originated in the 17th century. Original Czech fruit dumplings were fried and filled with plums. Eventually, boiling began to be the preferred cooking technique. Poppy seed or grated tvaroh (a hard cream cheese) was sprinkled on top of the dumplings, and well-off households even added butter or cream. Over the years, dumplings also began to be steamed and made with yeast or potato dough.
Dumplings are not exclusive to Czechia and can be found in other Central European countries, such as Austria, Germany, and Poland. But in the Czech Lands, they became part of a particularly strong culinary tradition, a beloved food that could be served all year round.
In late spring, dumplings were filled with rhubarb. With summer came the time of strawberries, cherries, apricots, blueberries, and plums. The last of which garnered the most praise – plum dumplings were beloved by Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand and are said to have been the favourite food of the first Czechoslovak President T.G. Masaryk. French gourmet Edouard de Pomiane even ranked plum dumplings in his top 10 foods of the world. It is not a surprise then that the dish has become an internationally renowned warm dessert.
1. Prepare dough from quark (or cream cheese), flour, egg
2. Add a bit of cooking oil or butter
3. Roll dough into a log and separate it into even pieces
4. Fill dough with fruit (apricots, plums, cherries, etc.)
5. Cook for 5-7 minutes in lightly salted water
6. Serve with poppy seed, sugar, and melted butter
250 grams of quark (or cream cheese)
250 grams of all-purpose flour
50 grams of sugar
A bit of cooking oil or butter
½ teaspoon of salt
Fruit of choice
Ground poppy seed
What is the typical Czech dish? Is it schnitzel, goulash, svíčková (marinated sirloin), or buchty (buns)? What are the defining traits of Czech culinary heritage?