Category Archives: Prague

Prague Food Festival 2007

Prague Food Festival

Date: September 7 – 9, 2007
Time: 12 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Venue: Museum Kampa, U Sovových mlýnů 2, Praha 1 – Malá Strana

Some highlights:

*Goose liver foam with pear ragout & marinated cherries.

*Beef tripe in truffle béchamel with fresh marjoram.

*Prague suckling pig, served with crackling and spanish onion rings dressed in virgin olive oil.

*Grilled Coquille St. Jacques on tomato brunoaz with lime oil and fresh lettuce leaves – for Robert-Gilles 🙂

*Pork cubes roasted with onion in black beer, served with red cabbage, potato and grated potato dumplings.

*Cottage cheese dumplings with plum jam and gingerbread sauce.

Dobrou chut!

Absinthe Times?

Absinthe Time

The Plot to get Zagorova drunk on the Green Fairy

The drink of the 19th century bohemians, the infamous absinthe, often gets the label of something forbidden. It is no wonder that the singers of the musical “Jack the Ripper” approached it with some uncertainty.

Zdenek Podhursky, Roman Vojtek, Petr Vondracek and the ever so spirit-keen Richard Tesarik tried the bitterness of absinthe and the variety of ways to drink it while christening their new Jack the Ripper video-clip.

Even Jana Vaculikova and Hanka Zagorova — the cast members of the gentler sex — put on a brave face. Hanka doesn’t drink spirits at all, but she was interested to find out about the drink that inspired the artists of the 19th century:

“We all need inspiration, and we all have our ways to obtain it,” Hanka said, adding that she doesn’t intend to rely on absinthe for it. “I just took a sip, so that I knew what it tasted like. It’s a very interesting drink, but I doubt I’ll become a convert,” she laughed.

She apparently feels at home in her first musical. “I am very glad I did it. I feel good with the people that I’m working with, and that’s why I’m here with them today, out of the theater.”

Absinthe, the so-called “Green fairy”, is still forbidden in many countries because, in large quantity, it has the same effects as marijuana. It can be drunk with a burnt cube of sugar or with water poured over a sugar cube.

“The fire thing was really interesting, and it turned down the wormwood bitterness,” said Richard Tesarik with satisfaction. “I’ve tried absinthe before, but it’s not really possible to drink more the two shots, better to wash it down with beer after that.”

(Translated from the Mlada Fronta Dnes newspaper)

Note: For those of you outside of the Czech Republic, Hana Zagorova is something of a pop-icon in this country (and a really nice girl too). During the events of November 1989, she used her appeal to support the overthrow of the rotten communist regime (famously documented in a tape smuggled out of a Party meeting where the then-Chairman complained bitterly about her involvement: “Why is she doing this to us? I had her income statements brought to me earlier… Doesn’t she have it good here? Now she turns against us...” A talented performer indeed, she was here with us before the wall came down, and she is still with us now (unlike so many others). Keep going Hanka, we wish you all the best!

The Great Absinthe Plot ?

Meanwhile, 5245 miles away in New Orleans, the new Chemise Verte (Green Shirt) stormtroopers continue their battle to conquer the Universe, but will they set the world alight with their new brands of USA safe absinthe?


Forbidden Photo

Update: Following a complaint we are no longer allowed to publish the private photograph of Ted Breaux at one of his absinthe ceremonies in New Orleans. If you wish to see the original photo you can see it here:

Who knows? Currently on overdrive in a fanatical campaign to create their twisted New Jerusalem, barely a day goes by without some hack publishing a glowing review for their new era absinthe, and of course a quick swipe at the Czechs! Perhaps they could take some lessons from the Communist old guard in propaganda? but I don’t think they need any!

Perhaps the first victim of this new wave of absinthe hysteria is a very nice little absinthe from South Africa called Doubs? It appears from this article : L’absinthe de Pontarlier victime de la contrefaçon that Doubs have withdrawn from the market following legal threats! I didn’t pay attention during French lessons, so that is what I can surmise from the article anyway.

On the same theme, if anyone knows what this disturbing image is about, perhaps they could get in touch? It was sent anonymously and is rather sinister, don’t you think?

New Order of Absinthe

Prague Night with Absinth 1943

Hitler at Prague Castle

Adolf Hitler at Prague Castle

Here’s a delightful lost quote about absinth drinking from the evil days of the Nazi occupation of Bohemia.

Poručil jsem si dvojitou sklenku absintu, který právě je v módě. Je to takový zelený dryák. Jako rozpuštěné ještěrky. A vypil jsem to do dna. Potom mi bylo dobre.

I ordered a double glass of absinthe which is in fashion right now.  It’s a kind of green “dryák”. Like dissolved lizards.  I drunk it all. Then I felt good.

Pražské nokturno – Page 310
by František Kubka ( 1943)

Like dissolved lizards 🙂 Note: “dryák” means something like a cure for all diseases, or something bearing a medicinal quality. The word is ancient and relates to a curative potion sold in the Middle Ages and made from 54 types of herbs.

One cannot help wondering where that fashionable absinth – enjoyed by drinkers in Praha circa 1943 – came from.  Any ideas?

Czech Heroes


Following on from the discussion of Hilary Clinton’s famous meeting over absinth – did she take a sip? – at Cafe Slavia with President Vaclav Havel, I noticed today the article that follows. It is as well to remember Charter 77 and their legacy, the liberal spirit of Czech society.

Prague, – The Charter 77 and its spirit can be a permanent inspiration, former president and dissident Vaclav Havel said at a public meeting commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Czech Charter 77 human rights manifesto.

The meeting celebrated the legacy of Charter’s first spokesman, philosopher Jan Patocka, who died following an interrogation by the former communist state police (StB) that lasted many hours.

The meeting was held in Prague’s St Anna church that was filled to capacity.

Havel said that during his study visit to the USA he met people from the countries with both right-wing and left-wing regimes and although they adhered to different values they managed to tolerate each other and they all pointed to the ethos of Charter 77.

The Czech Republic should point to the abuse of human rights in other countries regardless of its particular economic interests, Havel said.

“I have a feeling that our foreign policy realises it,” he added.

Other well-known dissidents also spoke at the meeting. Bishop Vaclav Maly who “moderated the Velvet Revolution” in November 1989 pointed to the non-ideological vision of Charter 77 signatories.

Prime Minister and Civic Democrat (ODS) chairman Mirek Topolanek paid tribute to the memory of philosopher Patocka by laying flowers on his tomb. He described Patochka as a man who, at the time of general moral relativism, declared a return to the values for which it is worthwhile even to die.“His political activities came from his interest in human rights that the communist regime suppressed,” Topolanek said.

Plastic People

Milan Hlavsa and Egon Bondy of The Plastic People

What about The Plastic People of the Universe, an avant-garde Czech rock band, and the formation of Charter 77? It was the arrest of these musicians by the Communist regime that prompted Vaclav Havel to write Charter 77. The Plastic People were heavily influenced by The Velvet Underground and most recently played in London. This performance followed a hiatus which was ended at former President Havel’s request to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Charter 77.

Happy Birthday Madeleine

Madeleine Albright

Madeleine Albright, born Marie Jana Korbelova on May 15 1937 in Prague is 70 today! Here is what she had to say on Czech radio:

“It felt much more like home when I first came in 1990, and first met President Havel, and I was just so proud of the way people were remembering the good things about the First Republic that I’d grown up with and were making such a great effort for democracy.

“I enjoy coming to Prague. I try to imagine what my parents’ life was like here in the 30s, when they lived here and were part of intellectual Prague.”

Vaclav Havel suggested her as President of the Czech Republic in 2003 –  🙂

Rare Bohemians in Washington DC



Rare Bohemians! Czech out this Michael Jackson impersonator! (Note the grandma – babicka – complete with arm on hip and look of gentle disbelief.) All part of the fun of Czech cinema. Here are the details:


Wild Bees (Divoke vcely)

Tuesday, February 13, 8 pm: Avalon Theatre, 5612 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20015 Tickets: Purchase at the box office 30 min. before a show.


Wild Bees


A dark, satirical look inside a Moravian village yields a beehive of trouble. Shy 18-year-old Kaja lives with his grandmother and philosophizing father. Kaja’s main occupation in life is secretly admiring the girl of his dreams: Bozka, a wild-child who peddles sausages in the local village. When Kaja’s prodigal brother arrives from Prague for a visit, long stagnant relationships begin to stir. [2001, directed by Bohdan Slama, 94 min., in Czech with English subtitles]


Presented films are part of the RARE BOHEMIANS touring series produced by Irena Kovarova in cooperation with the Czech Film Center, Prague. Additional support provided by Czech Centres.