August 25, 2018 10:30 am
Utopenci (“Drawned Men”) are a very common and typical Czech cold dish. It sounds a little bit funny, but no men in, don’t worry. Utopenci are pickled sausages. The name was invented about 100 years ago. In Beroun, there was a man called Šamánek who owned a mill and a pub and who was making these pickled sausages that were very popular and his pub was famous throughout the country. As life has its irony, he drowned one day while fixing his mill’s wheel. Czechs love black humour and they named this classic “Drowned Men”.
The sausages (typical Czech sausage called špekáček, a thick sausage) are pickled with water, vinegar, sugar, onions, chilli peppers and some spices (salt, pepper, bay leaf, allspice). We eat it cold with a piece of bread.
The second cold dish (not with such a funny name) is marinated hermelín (Camembert cheese) and it is marinated with onions, chilli peppers, garlic, some spices (salt, pepper, bay leaf, paprika, allspice) and oil (sunflower in general, olive oil is not very common in Czech cuisine). We also eat it with bread.
The recipes of these two dishes can vary of course, some use more herbs or no chilli. If you go to a Czech pub, they will have these two for sure and you can try them. They go well with beer and it’s not a huge portion, so it’s ideal if you’re a little hungry after some drinks.
Emeperor’s Crumbs. Utopenci-“Drowned Men” a Czech pub classic. Available from: https://www.emperorscrumbs.com/utopenci-drowned-men-a-czech-pub-classic/, [cit. 07/08/2018].
Written by Katerina Jaburkova, translation trainee July-September 2018 in Czech Translation Unit.
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