A Delightful Sweet from Prague: Trdelnik!
The smell of Old Town – Trdelnik
If you are in Old Town, in Prague, you will absolutely recognize a smell of sweet. And soon you will understand why, that’s Trdelník. For the beginners it’s a little bit hard to pronounce but it gives that much pleasure to eat! But what is this Trdelník? How is it cooked? Where to eat and what is the story behind this sweet pastry? So let’s go back in the time!
In 18. century…
The stories and myths of how this pastry reached the Czech lands are many. But according to what is said, production of Trdelník has a long tradition in the Slovak town of Skalica near the border with the Czech Republic. The original recipe was brought to Skalica at the end of the 18th century by the Transylvanian cook hired by József Gvadányi, a retired Hungarian general. The original recipe was later developed by Skalica inhabitants to its final form. Trdelník and its relatives are to be found in the Transylvania district of Romania and will be moved from here to the rest of Europe. Trdelník is also popular in Hungary where they call it “Kürtőskalács” means “Chimney Cake”. It’s also similar to German “Baumkuchen” or Austrian “Prügelkrapfen”.
As it is, there are so many variations of this tasty treat. Looking at all this variety, the debates on its origin is inevitable and as I mentioned before Trdelník is not Czech at all. Czech locals are shocked how the tourists believe that it is a Czech traditional sweet. Name “Staročeský trdelník” which means Old Czech Trdelník is only marketing name and Trdelník is not old and not traditional in the Czech Republic.
Traditional Trdelník since 2002
Trdelník is firstly seen in Czech Republic during Easters Markets in 2002 although has quickly become one of the symbols of Prague. Czechs innovated to put ice-cream to Trdelník! Watching the construction of this delightful sweet, which you will find in every corner of Prague, is as pleasant as eating.
How is Trdelník cooked?
The dough is rolled into strips, wrapped around a needle called “trdlo”, glazed with sugar, and grilled on open charcoal until the exquisite smells come. After cooking is completed, it is rolled into trays containing sugar, cinnamon and chopped hazelnut mix before serving. Depending on your preference, they are serving Trdelník with a variety of fruits, chocolate, honey, ice cream or jam. In addition we have to say that, the Czech recipe for Trdelník has changed in time. It was very simple compared to its counterparts. The current recipe has 13 secret ingredients, in past it was much simple. Also with the development of dough, new types of grills developed. It is adjusted to taste of current age/people. The look is also as excellent as its taste. We absolutely recommend you to try it with hot wine!
Did you know? This cooking method comes from the Stone Age!
Breadmaking goes back to the Neolithic period. The people who lived at that time learned to make flour, than make dough and cooked the mixture on fire by wrapping a stick. Thus, if you are watching trdelník slowly turning on their trdlo over hot coals somewhere in the Czech lands; it means that you’re watching one of the oldest cooking methods.
If you are in Prague, you have absolutely try Tradelník with ice-cream!
It is a pleasure to taste a fresh, hot Trdelník that is handed to you on a cold evening. Even if you know its history; it becomes more interesting! If you are in Prague, you have absolutely try this pastry. It is so much fun to walk with your warm Trdelník in the streets of this ancient city.
And finally a little advice for those who are undecided like me! Trdelník with ice-cream of Prague is world-wide famous. Czech invention is to put ice-cream to Trdelník . So now you know what to do; try it with some ice-cream, you won’t regret it! And if you are looking for a Czech traditional sweet, don’t forget to eat ‘’koláče’’ before you leave!