Czech Food – Schnitzel
Mention the word “Schnitzel” and your mind will probably conjure up images of a Vienna or “Wiener” Schnitzel. That dish should specifically made from veal and that is not popular in the Czech Republic. Instead, we use Chicken or Pork and by the way we have another name for it, we call it Řízek.
Schnitzel or Řízek
For the rest of this post I will use the word Schnitzel firstly because it has become such a recognised word and secondly because you’ll find it difficult to be understood if you try and say Řízek in Czech. However on a Czech language menu you’ll find it listed as Kuřeci Řízek which is Chicken Schnitzel and Vepřovy Řízek which is Pork Schnitzel. These may be abbreviated to Kur.Řízek or Vep.Řízek respectively (see the Chalkboard Menu link below).
What to Expect
For a start the schnitzel should be encased in breadcrumbs and then fried. You would normally expect some kind of tenderising of the meat and in the case of Chicken Schnitzel you would expect the lesser quality thigh (Czechs call it Stehno) rather than a breast. You won’t find this accompanied by any green vegetables as standard although you may be able to order these separately. The side dish is going to be potato but depending on the restaurant you can expect either boiled potatoes with a butter sauce, potato salad (potato mixed with carrots, peas, pickle and mayonnaise) or the most popular, French fries. A restaurant may also offer condiments which will either be Mayonnaise or Tartar Sauce. If you are having French Fries then take note that Czechs don’t normally offer vinegar. You’d expect to pay CZK150-CZK200 in a tourist area cafe/restaurant or less if you go off the beaten path.