K for kitchen

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K is our letter for today and the topic is kitchen... or cuisine, if you like, because the Czechs have just one word for both kitchen and cuisine - kuchynì.

Hello and welcome again to the ABC of Czech, Radio Prague's Czech language series. I'm Pavla Horakova and with me in the studio is Vladimir Tax. K is our letter for today and the topic is kitchen...

...or cuisine, if you like, because the Czechs have just one word for both kitchen and cuisine - kuchynì. Czech cuisine is very Central European: a lot of red meat, very little fish, lots of boiled vegetables, boiled potatoes, stews, thick sauces and high carbohydrate stodgy side dishes. An example is the Czech national dish - the traditional vepøo knedlo zelo - or pork, dumplings and cabbage. It's a dish of fatty roast pork, boiled cabbage or sauerkraut and bread dumplings - extremely popular and probably very bad for you.

The man in the white hat is kuchaø or cook. To fussy eaters Czechs say Hlad je nejlep¹í kuchaø - hunger is the best cook, if you like. A female cook is kuchaøka. The word also means a cookery book. If you ever come to this country and fall for Czech food, you should look for a Èeská kuchaøka or Czech cookery book in the shops or you can ask the cook for a recept - that's a recipe.

Czechs eat three main meals a day. Snídanì is breakfast and usually consists of a cup of tea or coffee and a sweet bun or a bread and butter sandwich. There's usually too little time for a cooked breakfast, or snídanì na vidlièku, literally breakfast on a fork. Obìd, the midday meal is the main meal while veèeøe - the evening meal - tends to be lighter. A hearty dinner - which is usually the midday meal or obìd consists of several courses. Pøedkrm is the starter, then comes polévka or soup followed by hlavní chod - the main course. If there is still room in your stomach after all that, you can order zákusek or dessert.

Speaking of stomachs; there is a Czech saying which goes Láska prochází ¾aludkem - or the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. And that expression is a little taster, which brings us almost seamlessly on to next week's topic - which is L for love. And that's all for today from me Pavla Horakova and me Vladimir Tax. And if you happen to be eating, we wish you Dobrou chu» or Bon Appetit. See also Living Czech.