I am now in the UK and will fly back to the Czech Republic just in time for the New Year celebrations. I would love it if my parents were able to visit our Czech home, they helped in its purchase and I know they would love to visit too. However elderly knees will not take the journey and so all they can do is read this blog and look at our photos. I therefore decided to give them a taste of Czech cuisine (albeit cooked by a Brit - me).
It used to be the case, when first we started going to the Czech Republic and indeed even when we bought our Czech home, that you could not get Czech ingredients in the UK. With the influx of Czech and Polish workers into England, following their countries' entry into the EU, came foodstuffs and foodstores geared up to the new arrivals. Suddenly on the Cowley Road in Oxford where I worked, you could buy chleb (Czech bread), klobasa (spicy sausages) and the ubiquitous pickled vegetables. Most of it came from Poland, but the other day I came across the Czechland Food Shop in Gloucester, which offers more Czech groceries than usual, including importantly the different grades of flour. I have even found that crucial ingredient tvaroh - a cream cheese used in strudels and buchty (Czech doughnuts) - in our local Morrisons.
I will have to tell you in my next post how I fared in my attempt at cooking a Czech meal for my parents. Meanwhile I shall just help myself to a Pribinacek (a vanilla cream desert and comfort food) which I bought in Gloucester.