Posted Saturday, September 10, 2016 at 8:30am by Darren Baker
Autumn in the Czech Republic - Mushrooms, young wine and hog’s ass soup
The Czech word for autumn is podzim, literally “under winter” as in before it. Like most places, it’s a time of colorful outbursts as the leaves begin to change and children despair of going back to school. There is no Labor Day in this country to mark the beginning of it. That falls on May 1st, the day generally recognized around the world for the celebration of Work. Here around the start of autumn, you will find dožínky, a celebration of the harvest. People gather to drink, listen to music, see and be seen, do pretty much everything except hauling in the hay.
A really nice place to go when autumn is upon you is South Moravia. That’s the winegrowing region of the country and September is the time to try what is called burčák. It’s the young wine, that initial stage of fermentation that gives it a nice, fruity flavor but looks a hell of a lot like dishwater. You can drink it in the cellars or outdoors, usually in groups with a guitar and several dodgy voices, people smoking and chattering away if they don’t know the words, then nodding off to sleep wherever they happen to be. If it’s a Friday, they get up for a walk among the castle ruins that dot the landscape before repeating the previous night all over again.Continue reading...