Prague: Czech-ing the Menu for Love

Charlotte Sparacino
It's not hard to fall in love when you're abroad...but maybe with not what you think.

Before arriving in Prague, I saw it in a vision — the perfect relationship with food. Every day I would enter a cafe, order a coffee with a small delectable dessert then walk to my classes. For lunch, a small street vendor would serve me a quaint sandwich, and for dinner I would enjoy local cuisine prepared by yours truly. Czech food was going to be the Troy to my Gabriella, the Brad to my Angelina. We would fall into a blissfully happy love affair.

Two weeks into my semester in Prague, I can confirm that I am indeed indulging in the food in the Czech Republic. This relationship has loads of potential.

When I saw Czech food, it was love at first sight. The first night, I went out for dinner and drinks with a few friends, where we tried beef goulash. The chewiness of the beef was cushioned by a layer of soft dumplings. It was perfect. I was hooked.

The next few mornings, I perused the town for a comforting sweet to eat in the morning. Without fail, I found flaky croissants, warm banana bread, fresh fruits and seasonal jams.

Lunch was simple. I waited in coffee shops while a wide array of sandwiches coaxed my converted American dollars. They were all perfect enough to make me question my decisions. My only consolation — I have an entire semester to mix and match. Every now and then I followed the creed of Parks and Recreation and treated myself — a roll of light bread, covered in cinnamon sugar and coated with warm Nutella. The Czech Republic was pulling on my heart strings.

Ain’t love grand?

Eventually there came a time when I needed to cook for myself. Suddenly, there seemed to be a vital flaw in this nearly perfect love affair. I could not find blueberries for my morning cereal — I need blueberries. There was no kale — I live for kale. There were no Honey Bunches of Oats. There was rabbit meat for sale, thousands of milk choices and unsliced bread. There were no sleeves of Chips Ahoy! cookies to comfort me while I cried over “Toy Story 3.”

So it turned out love wasn’t so grand.

But I soon learned that toiling away at the stove made my indulgence that much more worthwhile. Relationship counseling with Prague food was the best decision I ever made. I recently posted a photo of Czech food on my Instagram. We are going to be together for a long time, even after I leave this beautiful country.

If there’s one thing that’s certain, it’s this: date your food when you go abroad, you won’t regret it.

Email Charlotte Sparacino at [email protected]

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