South Moravian Region - the sun hidden in flavours
The South Moravia Region consists of several distinct ethnographic regions (Moravian Slovakia, Podhorácko, Haná), which are characterised by a wide variety of folk traditions that have produced a distinct regional cuisine. The distinctive features of the local cooking were influenced primarily by the fertility of the region, with plentiful grains, potatoes, fruit and wine. The everyday diet may have been simple, but it was also rich in the flavours of fruit dumplings, round potato cakes with plum jam and poppy seeds and cakes and nutritious soups with beans and peas. On festive occasions, the table was set for dishes such as the unique lukša soup, roast goose with sauerkraut and potato dumplings, served with local red wine. You can treat your taste buds to a bevy of wine and liquor tastings offered by local producers, which, along with cymbalo music bands, outstanding singers and dancers, serve to round out the distinct colour of this region.
Wine Cellars and Wine
South Moravia is the country of vineyards and wine. The MORAVIA wine region has excellent expectations with regard to the production of wine. Here you will find wonderful white wines with an interesting spectrum of scents and spiciness aided by the typical minerality and ample structure which the vine draws from the local soils and subsoils. This play of flavours is then underlined by a refreshing crisp acidity. In a similar vein red wines have also belonged in Moravia since time immemorial. Their taste profile has never been lacking in the terroir essence that accompanies their fruity character. Thanks to modern technological procedures Moravian red wines are changing – they are smoother and well balanced. The Southern Moravian landscape and its unique natural conditions form the basis for the singular and at the same time multifaceted character of the wines from this area.
The Moravian Wine Region is divided into four sub-regions:Znojmo sub-region, Mikulov sub-region, Velké Pavlovice sub-rezion and Slovácko sub-region.
A real treat for all wine lovers is a visit to the Zámecký cellar in Valtice, where the Wine Salon of the Czech Republic is open all year round, with an exposition and tasting of 100 of the Czech Republic’s best wines (www.vinarskecentrum.cz). The cuisine of South Moravia and wine are truly inseparable.
Hog Killing and Sausages
Hog killing has a great tradition in the whole of Moravia and Silesia and has recently become increasingly more of a tourist and culinary attraction. A traditional hog killing in Moravian Slovakia – butchering of the hog accompanied by accordion music – is open to visitors and later in the evening one can see a cymbalo concert with a pork feast in, among other places, Bukovany near Hodonín. To experience everything first hand and have a chance to taste all the products is an experience taken straight from a gourmet’s dream.
The Slivovitz of Moravian Slovakia – a remedy that will not let you down
Should you decide to visit one of the plethora of folk events in South Moravia, you will doubtlessly make the acquaintance of outstanding slivovitz – an aromatic spirit distilled from ripe plums. Genuine homemade slivovitz is produced exclusively from fruit without any other ingredients, resulting in a one hundred percent natural product which is considered by many to be a cure. A social event in itself is the traditional slivovitz tasting. One of the best known tastings takes place in Radějov near Hodonín where up to 2,000 fruit liquor samples are gathered each year.
Znojmo Gherkins – a living tradition
The famous delicacy, a century-long tradition of growing and pickling Vegetables, this is the well known Znojmo gherkin. Since 2008, the Znojemská okurka (Czech for Znojmo gherkin) cooperative has been continuing with the best traditions of gherkin pickling in Znojmo. The traditional processing method is to take top quality gherkins from local harvests and combine them with a classic recipe to once again bring a world class delicacy to our tables.
South Moravia is inseparably associated with wine. New wineries have constantly emerged and all of sudden, it seems as if there is enough wine and several private breweries have recently opened in South Moravia. The largest share of beer produced is brewed by industrial breweries, such as Starobrno, Černá Hora, Zámecký pivovar Břeclav and Vyškov, complemented by several microbreweries. Examples include the Pegas microbrewery, which was one of the first in the Czech Republic and the very first in Moravia; the Mamut Brewery in Mikulov, Lucky Bastard, the Slavkov Brewery and the honey Kvasar beer from Sentice. Since 2011, Kvasar has held the “Regional Product of the South Moravian Region” and the “Golden Taste of South Moravia” awards. These microbreweries keep gaining fans as traditional beer brewing and genuine quality have been attracting more and more people.
The Moravian-Silesian Region - a flavour of the north
When it comes to the traditional gastronomy of the Moravian-Silesian Region, it can be said that the further north we get, the more distinct the influence of Polish cuisine becomes (see e.g. the Polish-Silesian bigos). The original diet of the inhabitants of the Moravian-Silesian Region kept with natural conditions and leaned towards the simple and plain with the predictable regional differences. It used to be a rule for soup to constitute the „cornerstone“ of the diet. At times, soup would even be the only course; it nevertheless had to be thick, nourishing and filling and was most often prepared from sauerkraut or milk (including sour milk or whey). Among simple folk, meatless dishes reigned along with potatoes with cabbage in various variations, practically forming the base of their diet. Meat was only served on festive occasions and was frequently conserved by brining, smoking or pickling. Among cakes, yeast dough cakes were the most popular - with fruit, curds, plum jam, poppy seeds, but also with cabbage. Many of these traditional dishes can still be bought at a number of local folk festivals.
This local specialty is treated not only as a gingerbread delicacy, but also as a souvenir by the visitors of Štramberk. Štramberské uši is a sweet related to a legend of the Tatars, who allegedly during their medieval raids cut off the ears of their enemies. You can find several certified stores selling this item right in the town square. There are precisely 11 producers certified to legally use this traditional brand.
Odra Carp – A Traditional fish
The Moravské Kravařsko regional trademark, which guarantees the origin its products and their relationship to a particular territory, also applies to the Odra Carp. This traditional fish is sold and processed for the domestic market and is also exported.
The Lysá Hora Herbal Liqueur
The Lysá Hora herbal liquer – of a very mild bitter-sweet taste – has been produced since 1856 from natural herbal extracts and distilled fruit. It has won two historic world titles – The Grand Prize at the World Grand Prix in Paris (1900) and the Gold State Award in Vienna (1904). This liquor is an ideal gift for tourists to remind them of their visit to the Moravian-Silesian Region.
Radegast and Ostravar Beer
The Radegast Nošovice brewery is a modern brewery (founded 1970), which brought an exceptional and popular beer with distinct full and bitter taste to the Czech market. Apart from a beer tasting tour (which can be booked on-line), the brewery organizes a number of other interesting events - the Radegast Day beer festival, Redegastův rej (Radegast’s Coven) (www.radegastuvrej. cz), the adrenaline contest Chained Escape, and others. Ostravar beer is typical of the city of Ostrava and its surroundings. The tradition of its production dates back to 1897, with the traditional procedures preserved until today. A tour with beer tasting (which has to be booked on-line) is complemented by an interesting tour of the brewery museum. It is also possible (by previous agreement) in the Brewery Inn and Hotel Excelent, which has, after more than 100 years, revived the tradition of beer brewing in Rýmařov. The brewery’s dark beer was named “the best of 2006 in Central Europe” by the American Wall Street Journal.
Vařónka and Miodula – a double warm-up
“Vařónka” is a spirit still brewed in the Czech Republic, mainly in the eastern part of the Moravian-Silesian Region. The truly traditional sort is prepared by mixing caramelized sugar, water and ingredients (lemon juice, honey - not necessary) and spices (cinnamon, rose apple). After the mixture boils, add alcohol. It is served hot and was originally greased with bacon. Miodula on the other hand is a liquor entirely typical of the Těšín region in Silesia. It is created by combining honey, boiled water and alcohol (ration 1:1:1). The longer the liquor ages, the higher its eventual quality.
Olomouc Region - the tradition of cheeses, spirits and beer
Haná cuisine is well known throughout the Czech Republic. Few can resist such specialty dishes as homemade Haná cakes or the genuine sour milk cheese known as Olomoucké tvarůžky (Olmützer Quargel, Olomouc curd cheese). Olomoucké tvarůžky is a true rarity and a culinary specialty for the Czech Republic, in the same way Edam cheese is for the Netherlands, Parmigiano-Reggiano for Italy or Camembert for France. The woods of the Jeseníky mountains offer culinary specialties produced mainly from pure mountain products. Among such popular dishes are mushroom soup, venison goulash, round potato cakes and, equally so, desserts – homemade blueberry dumplings or cranberry jelly.
Olomoucké tvarůžky – jediný původní český stolní sýr
For approximately 500 years, Olomoucké tvarůžky was produced in villages near the city of Olomouc and was known as “country tvarůžky”. Genuine Olomoucké tvarůžky is the only original Czech cheese with an internationally protected product name. It is produced in Loštice near Litovel and is characterized by a strong and pungent taste depending on the degree of maturity. Tvarůžky has a low fat content (roughly 1%) and high protein and calcium content and is therefore suitable for a low-fat diet. Loštice also boasts the Museum of Olomoucké tvarůžky (open July – August, Monday – Saturday mornings, or as per agreement); the sale of products can be found in the company store and there is also most probably the world’s only tvarůžky-selling vending machine. Ever more popular is the festival of music and tvarůžky Pod Loštickým nebem (Under the Sky of Loštice), with the election of King Tvarůžek and other events.
Niva Blue Cheese – still popular
There is hardly a person in the Czech Republic who wouldn’t know Niva blue cheese and its mild yet spicy flavour. This cheese has been produced in Otinoves near Prostějov according to time-proven recipes since 1963. The basic ingredient is pasteurized full fat milk, the mold Penicillium roqueforti, rennet, sour cream culture and salt.
Natural Cheese Gran Moravia – tradition without borders
The imported art of Italian master cheese makers and loyalty to the timeproven traditions of manual processing. Gran Moravia is natural, extra hard, slowly ripened and produced from the highest quality cow milk without any chemical ingredients or colours, with a delicate odour and distinct, pleasant flavour. It is produced in Tři Dvory.
A traditional product of the Olomouc Region from Palírna u Zeleného stromu (The Green Tree Distillery) Prostějov, with a recipe dating back to the late 17th century. Of the 11 herbs used, anise is the most powerful ingredient in terms of both taste and aroma. It has a favourable effect on the respiratory system and digestion, and does not contain any sugar. This liquor, when cooled, can be served as an apéritif.
A legend of Czech liqueur making. The reincarnation of a famous herbal liqueur from the times of the first Czechoslovak Republic, known as Jakamarus, developed with an apothecary’s precision, can be found in the Hanácká distillery in Těšetice. The original production method involves the maceration of healing herbs in alcohol, the ageing of Jakamarus in oaken casks and the manual bottling of the finished liqueur in bottles with a 1930s design, which creates a unique atmosphere of true liquor making mastery.
Pivo Litovel, Holba a Zubr
“Moravian Pilsner” is what Litovel beer was called during the times of the “first republic”, thanks to its exceptional quality. This quality is what the Royal Litovel beer has preserved until this day, much like Zubr Premium from Přerov (the best lager of 2008) and Zubr Gold (the winner of the pale draught beer category award for the Czech Republic in 2008). The Holba brewery in Hanušovice, with its unique location in the foothills of the Jeseníky mountains, is among the Czech Republic’s ten largest breweries. The popularity of the “pure beer from the mountains” has been documented by the ever increasing production of the well known Šerák brand.
Hanácká Kyselka and Ondrášovka
Hanácká kyselka, due to its quality and the amount of products sold, ranks among the Czech Republic’s most important producers of natural mineral waters. Ondrášovka mineral water is unique in its composition, due to the combination of a high concentration of calcium with very low sodium volume (which prevents an overt volume of acids in the stomach).
The Zlín Region - the tasty charm of variety
The eastern part of Moravia - that is, above all, the Zlín Region. The manifold local traditions of Moravian Wallachia, Moravian Slovakia, Haná, Podřevnicko and other regions are reflected in the varied culinary specialties of the region. The open air museum in Rožnov is a truly regional culinary centre full of traditional dishes (with a slivovitz distillery). The original recipes of Eastern Moravia are largely associated with buckwheat, now seen as a cereal of the future, suitable for a balanced diet, with therapeutic effects. Zlínský Region would be inconceivable without its typical Frgál cakes, sheep milk cheese, Kyselica soup, wine, plum products and pastries from Vizovice, which are the products of Wallachian folk art. As such, with their wide offer of dishes and experiences the Kroměříž, Luhačovice and Zlín districts are a unique place well worth a visit.
Wallachian Frgál – a sweet Moravian original
Moravian Wallachia has enriched the world with its giant cakes notable for their seductively sweet taste. Frgál is a well known Wallachian specialty. The original meaning of the word frgál was derogatory and was used to refer to pastry ruined in the process of production. Gradually however, the term frgál began to be used to refer to the big round cake baked in an oven. Frgáls were a festive meal and are to this day classified according to the filling used - the options being pear, plum or apple jam; poppy seeds with walnuts; curds with coarse semolina; or honey. A truly unusual form of Frgál is the one with cabbage filling (referred to as Zelník). You will surely encounter the Wallachian Frgál at traditional folk festivals and if you decide to try it, you will not forget Moravian Wallachia easily.
Wine Cellars and Wine – tradition and love of the craft
The charm of the wine-producing subregion of Moravian Slovakia is in the variety and fullness of the wine grapes grown there. Well worth a visit is the reservation of vineyard buildings in Vlčnov, the protected complex of historical vineyard buildings, the so-called “búdas” in Veletiny, or the burgher wine cellars directly in Uherské Hradiště-Mařatice or the Monastery Cellars in Kroměříž. Among further Moravian specialties is also burčák, or unfinished cloudy young wine with a sweet taste.
“Povidla” Plum Jam – gold made from plums
A traditional ingredients of many local dishes, povidla (unlike true jams or marmalades) is made purely from boiled fruit, thickened by evaporating water (with no sugar added). The best povidla is produced from ripe to overripe plums. Plums are probably the most popular fruit tree in the Zlín Region and the specific taste of povidla is therefore found in a number of typical local dishes.
Slivovitz and Calvados – more than a tradition
In the Zlín Region, more so than anywhere else, the tradition of slivovitz production is very much alive. The pure and noble spirit produced without any additive whatsoever, purely from fruits of plum trees (of the regular or “Durancie” variety) – is considered more a remedy than an alcoholic beverage in these parts and is also the highest valued spirit. Another popular drink is calvados, produced by distilling fermented apples. It is no wonder that it was in Vizovice, in the complex of the Rudolf Jelínek company, that Distillery Land was founded, bringing the tradition and the craft of turning fruit into quality spirits to the general public. The tour includes, among other things, a visitor centre with a company store, tasting, a distillery museum and a whisky exposition. In July and August, a tour for visitors takes place at 1pm (Mon–Fri), or else needs to be booked in advance.
Janáček Beer – a crisp refreshment
The Janáček beer has been brewed in Uherský Brod. Today, 9 types of beer and 1 type of flavoured beer are produced here, with 6 flavours to choose from. It is possible to take a tour of the brewery (at least 10 persons), the date and time of the tour need to be arranged in advance.
The Apple Ciders of Hostětín – tradition of the White Carpathians
Fruit production is an ancient tradition in the White Carpathians and the local apple cider was produced at home by a number of apple growers. This custom has been preserved in the cider house in Hostětín with their natural organic apple ciders of a premium quality. The product has been awarded the protected Tradition Mark of the White Carpathians.