Traditional Giant Mountain dishes

Traditional Giant Mountain dishes

Kyselo, sejkory, kuba, pumprnikl…

Thanks to the specific mountain areas in the north of the Czech Republic, the Liberec Region boasts many traditional products, dishes, and drinks.
One example of the connection between nature and gastronomy can be found in the extensive local forests, which have always served as a rich storehouse of raw foodstuffs for the kitchen. Even today, mushrooms, blueberries, raspberries, and other wild natural produce are typically found on the menu of the locals. Likewise, many local restaurants offer such specialties as fragrant kyselo with wild mushrooms or pancakes with blueberries and whipped cream topped with "sirob", a dark brown sweetener resembling honey, made from sugar beet. The most abundant tourist destination for traditional gastronomy is the Giant Mountains.

Specialties of the Giant Mountains Region

Giant Mountains kyselo - A soup typical for the Giant Mountains and their foothills, made from sourdough. You can taste it at almost any restaurant in the Giant Mountains region. 

Krkonošské sejkory  - A regional type of potato pancake, a very popular dish at various Giant Mountains festivities and fairs. These potato pancakes are baked directly on the stovetop and in the past were a common dish even for the peasants, because they are made from raw materials that were available to almost every household.

Giant Mountains mushroom Kuba, also called Houbanec, Hubník - Christmas is the ideal time for tradition. And the Old Bohemian mushroom Kuba certainly belongs among the traditional dishes. You can either choose to fast during Christmas Day, and then wait to see if you will catch a glimpse of the golden pig or try to taste the traditional mushroom Kuba. The Christmas Eve tables of our ancestors always featured this dish, at a time when there was no hint of carp and potato salad on them. At that time, this favourite food was in some regions called black Kuba, allegedly according to the colour of the large number of dried mushrooms that were added to the dish.

Zelníky (cabbage pancakes) - Cabbage was one of the basic ingredients in the Giant Mountains kitchens. And so, a very popular dish of cabbage was created. Cabbage was used for to prepare soups, pancakes or as a side.
Required ingredients: 500 g all-purpose flour, 150 g lard, 400 g sauerkraut, squeezed and sliced, 2 eggs, one beaten, a handful of freshly chopped marjoram, salt.
Method: Process the flour with lard, cabbage and one egg. Roll out a pancake about half an inch thick. Transfer the pancake with a rolling pin to a baking sheet, cut into squares, and spread them with the beaten egg and sprinkle with marjoram. Bake at 200 degrees until golden brown. Separate the squares with a knife.

Klouzáky – Giant Mountains special dumpling are another traditional specialty made from local potatoes. It is a quick food to make and supplies the body with energy, animal fat, fibre, minerals, and vitamins.
Required ingredients: 500 g potatoes, 50 g coarse flour, 50 g breadcrumbs, 1 egg, 50 g onions, 50 g greaves (bacon cubes), 50 g lard, 300 g sauerkraut, salt
Method: Grate the peeled potatoes, put in a sieve, and pour over with boiling water in a pot. Drain the liquid and return the starch deposited at the bottom to the potatoes. Stir in eggs, flour, breadcrumbs, salt and then, using two spoons, cut out walnut-sized gnocchi from the dough, which we cook for 10 minutes in salted water. Remove once cooked and let drip to dry. Then grease the gnocchi with lard or mix them with greaves, bacon, finely chopped fried onions and warmed cabbage. Tip: You can also add chopped steamed fresh mushrooms, herbs or sauerkraut to the dough.
Rozcuchaná nevěsta - A sweet Giant Mountain dish, which translates as messy bride, made from potatoes is rich in fibre and minerals and has a very lovely name. They are so named for the bits of grated potatoes which stick out of the baking tray and resemble tousled hair. In some households, a handful of flour was added to the potatoes, with which the potatoes were dusted.
Required ingredients: 1 kg of boiled potatoes, 1 kg of apples, 5-6 eggs, 20 dkg of semolina sugar, 20 dkg of coarse flour, 0.1 l of milk, cinnamon, butter to grease
Method: Sprinkle the rolling pin with flour and grate the boiled potatoes. Dust them with flour and work the raw ingredients with your hands - we combine them until a uniform mass is formed. Peel the apples and remove the pips. Then cut them into thin slices. Carefully grease the baking tray with butter. We alternately put layers of potatoes and apples into it, which we always sprinkle with cinnamon mixed with sugar, while the last layer consists of potatoes. Drizzle with melted butter and bake in a preheated oven at 180 ° C. After about 10 minutes, open the oven, pour over with milk and beaten eggs mixture, and bake until the crust turns red.

Vysocké sauerkraut - The town of Vysoké nad Jizerou and its surroundings are a rough mountain region as is. Nevertheless, this is where the best cabbage grows. Tall cabbage is unique in its pointed shape and also in its fragility. Cabbage has been traditionally grown by the Vondrák family from Sklenařice for more than a century. Interest in alpine cabbage is not declining even in modern times. It has a great taste and is also very healthy. The content of vitamin C can compete with any citrus fruit, fermented sauerkraut regulates the body’s microflora, lowers cholesterol, it contains potassium, sodium, magnesium, has a number of other beneficial effects, and at the same time, is of a very low energy value. The best way to preserve cabbage is to ferment it. There are a number of recipes for sauerkraut. The unique taste of red alpine cabbage stands out in its simplest salt recipe. Depending on your taste, you can add peppers, onions, or horseradish.

Pumprnikl – gingerbread from the Giant Mountains  - The people of the Giant Mountains, living in one of the poorer, more sparing regions, nonetheless tried to sweeten their festive moments with gingerbread. This double layer gingerbread is made in the shape of a "candy". Rosehip caramel and acorn and sea buckthorn flour are added to the dough as per each different recipe. The collection of recipes Krkonošská kuchařka (Giant Mountains Cookbook) by the author Jiří Marhold mentions a recipe for the original "pumprnikl" gingerbread made of wheat flour, into which honey and syrup were also added.