If you want to try traditional cuisine of these countries, you shouldn’t be counting your calories. Typical meals are very hearty and often contain a lot of meat. Just sampling them is enough to discover that they are really delicious and worth putting on a few ounces/aunsiz/.
Ingredients used in Slovak cuisine are quite simple. Instead of starter Slovaks tend to eat a soup. Kapustnica is a soup made of sour cabbage and smoked pork sausage, variations also include adding mushrooms or plums- eaten at Christmastime, also served at weddings to revive guests at midnight. Another favourite soup is garlic soup, bean soup… All soups generally come with bread or rolls on the side. The speciality for Christmas is the fish soup made out of Carp, the traditional Christmas delicacy. After the soup Slovaks have a main meal. The most traditional one is called bryndzove halušky: potato dumplings with sheep cheese (bryndza) and roasted bacon. Recipe for them was known even in antique Rome. Other typical Slovak main meal is strapačky s kapustou, dumplings with cabbage and sometimes bacon. Slovenský Grob is one of the most famous restaurants offering goose feasts (husacie hody). Roasted goose is served with dry salted potato pancake called lokša. Desserts with long history are for example: plum balls= fruit dumplings, parené buchty /steamed dumplings filled with jam with sweet toping/ or trdelník /long round cake with a hole in the middle covered with nuts and sugar/.
Apart from beer and wine /e.g. Tokaj/ the typical traditional Slovak alcoholic drinks are slivovica (made of plums), and borovička (made of juniper berries).
A young wine (burčiak) is usually the subject of harvest festivals. Cloudy in appearance, it is apparently rich in vitamins (especially vitamin B) and legend says that if you drink seven liters of it, it will replace all of your blood.
A Czech cuisine is very similar to Slovak one. The most appreciated Czech soups are onion soup, garlic soup, beef soup with liver dumplings, dill soup/koprová/, tripe soup/držková- made of beef stomach/.
Meat is normally served with various kinds of sauces. Diners can choose from horseradish (křenová), mushroom and dill to name but a few. Dumplings are the traditional side dish made from wheat or potato flour, boiled in water as a roll and then sliced and served hot. The most common and popular meat dishes that are found on the menu are: sirloin in cream sauce (svičková na smetaně), pork with dumplings and sauerkraut. Desserts tend to be heavy and fatty because butter and whipped cream are often used. Some popular desserts are: honey cake called Medovník, or small cakes dipped in vanilla cream called Dukátove buchtičky.
Brewing has been a traditional activity in the Czech Republic for centuries. It is interesting to note that there are more than 60 breweries in the Czech Republic. Beer delicacies Czechs invented a combination of beer and 1)pickled ermine-nakládaný hermelín /a special type of cheese, very soft inside, covered in a thin white film/. 2)Utopenci- sausages pickled in vinegar, oil, onion, red pepper, and different spices.
Another alcoholic drink is wine which tradition goes as far as to 300 A.D. Becherovka is a traditional, high-quality Czech herb liqueur. Becherovka was actually not imbibed but was used as a stomach medicine in drops for better digestion. The origins of Fernet date back to 1927. The core ingredients include herbs imported from the Mediterranean region and from the Alps.
Some traditions and recipes are an indigenous part of Polish culture. One example is "black soup," which was traditionally served by the parents of a young lady to an unwelcome suitor. This soup, also known as czernina, is prepared from duck or goose blood, giving it a dark hue.
Another traditional soups are: barszcz (beetroot soup) with uszka (small ravioli), žur (prepared from soured rye flour) with hard boiled egg or white sausage, the wonderful chlodnik (served cold and made from soured milk, cream, young beet leaves, beets, radishes, cucumbers and finely chopped fresh dill), pea soup, wild mushroom soup, etc. Moving on to the main course, pork dishes that deserve recommendation include bigos / seasoned "hunter" stew made from sauerkraut with chunks of various meats and sausages/, golabki –zakrúcaná kapusta. Polish’s favorite is roasted duck with apples. Other delicious not to be missed include the multitude of different kinds of pierogi (dumplings, stuffed with fresh cabbage, sauerkraut and wild mushrooms, meat, or cottage cheese), pyzy (potato dumplings served by themselves or stuffed with meat). Poland also boasts a rich selection of desserts. A very popular dessert in Poland is mazurka, or mazur, is a pastry similar to an Easter pastry, that is a flat brownie or pie that is filled with dried fruit, preserves or almond paste. The vodkas have gained popularity worldwide, such as are Zubrowka (bison grass vodka), Krupnik (made with honey and often mulled before serving), and the clear (white).
In addition to regional traditions, the cuisine has been influenced by Hungarian, Czech, Jewish, Italian, Balkan and French cuisine, from which both dishes and methods of food preparation have often been borrowed. The Austrian cuisine is therefore one of the most multicultural in Europe. It is famous for its well-balanced variations of beef and pork and countless variations of vegetables. Typical Austrian dishes include Wiener Schnitzel, Schweinsbraten- roasted pork, Knödel. There is also the "Mehlspeisen" Bakery, which created particular delicacies such as Kaiserschmarren- caramelized pancake, Sachertorte- chocolate cake with a layer of apricot jam, "Krapfen" which are doughnuts usually filled with apricot marmalade or custard, and "Strudel" such as "Apfelstrudel" and "Topfenstrudel" filled with sweetened sour cream.
Schnapps is the national liquor common in all of Austria and comes from a large variety of fruits and berries. Traditionally, schnapps is taken after a meal, especially after a heavy one, or by itself. Expensive schnapps originates from apricots, Enzian root (an alpine flower) or rowan tree berry mass-schnapps is most commonly made from plums and can be of various degrees of quality.
The Hungarian cuisine is a prominent feature of the Hungarian culture, just as much as the art of hospitality. Among traditional dishes belong the world famous Goulash. Dishes are often flavored with ground red peppers- this is a Hungarian innovation. The famous Hungarian hot river fish soup called Fisherman's soup or halászlé is usually a rich mixture of several kinds of fish. Other dishes are Chicken Paprikash, Foie gras made of goose liver. Desserts include the iconic Dobos Cake, Strudels filled with apple, cherry, poppy seed or cheese.
Pálinka: is a fruit brandy, distilled from fruit grown in the orchards situated on the Great Hungarian Plain. It is a spirit native to Hungary and comes in a variety of flavours including apricot and cherry. However, plum is the most popular flavour. Beer: Beer goes well with many traditional Hungarian dishes. The five main Hungarian breweries are: Borsodi, Soproni, Arany Ászok, Kõbányai, and Dreher. Wine: As Hugh Johnson says in The History of Wine, the territory of Hungary is ideal for wine-making. The choice of good wine is widening from year to year. The country can be divided to six wine regions: North-Transdanubia, Lake Balaton, South-Pannónia, Duna-region or Alföld, Upper-Hungary and Tokaj-Hegyalja. Hungarian wine regions offer a great variety of style: the main products of the country are elegant and full-bodied dry whites with good acidity, although complex sweet whites (Tokaj), elegant (Eger) and full-bodied robust reds (Villány and Szekszárd).
The traditional Ukrainian diet includes chicken, pork, beef, fish and mushrooms. Ukrainians also tend to eat a lot of potatoes, grains, fresh and pickled vegetables. Popular traditional dishes include borscht (soup made of beets, cabbage and mushrooms or meat), varenyky (boiled dumplings with mushrooms, potatoes, sauerkraut, cottage cheese or cherries), and holubtsy (stuffed cabbage rolls filled with rice, carrots and meat). Ukrainian specialties also include Chicken Kiev- rolled chicken breaded breast and Kiev Cake.
Horilka (Ukrainian: горілка) is Ukrainian vodka. Horilka is usually distilled from grain, potatoes, honey, sugar beets etc. The word horilka may also be used in a generic sense in the Ukrainian language to mean whisky, or other strong spirits and etymogically is similar to the Ukrainian word for burning - hority. Home-distilled horilka, moonshine, is called samohon (Ukrainian: самогон, literally ‘self-distillate’ or ‘self-run’). It is believed that horilka was not as strong as today with about 20 percent (40 proof). However, today nearly all industrially produced horilka is 80 proof.