What flavor would you associate with the Czech and Slovak Republics? Before arriving in Prague, I would have drawn a blank. Today I would say: "honey."
Do you like honey? Let me tell you about two fabulous Czech specialties that are delicious!
The first product is an alcoholic beverage. It's mead! How can an American learning about other cultures resist a beverage with such a long and storied European history and medieval name. It sounds like something one should be served at a Renaissance Fair along with a big fat turkey leg. Mead is wine made out of three ingredients: honey, water, and yeast. If you want to call it by it's Czech and Slovak name, it's marketed as 'medovina.'
I discovered the joys of medovina one night when I had arrived at a friend's flat, cold and shivering, and my friend offered me a cup of warm medovina to take the chill off. I sat down with a deliciously warm, yummy glass of medovina and fell in love with the taste.
I wish I had noticed the brand name at the time (it came in a clear bottle) because ever since then, I've been tasting different brands of medovina to try and reproduce that exact memory of deliciousness. It's easy to find medovina that is sickly sweet and needs to be watered down. This wine tasted like a gently sweet, low-viscosity form of honey. Try it. If the first brand is too sweet, give another brand a try. Mulled mead (doesn't that sound medieval?) is available at Christmas time. It has additional spices and fruit flavors added.
Are you more of a show-stopping dessert type? I'm not as much. But I remember one of my fellow teacher's reaction to Medovnik, an exquisite honey cake served everywhere in Prague for dessert. She was in utter rhapsody! She loved it so much she tried to make it at home. "Don't bother," she reported after her attempt. "It's not for amateurs. It's w-a-y-y-y too much work." So I guess she's back to turning heads in cafes with those moans of ecstasy as she consumes her medovnik.