Apple Strudel is a delicious dessert that is made with puff pastry. The puff pastry is flaky and wonderful and the apples are sweet giving a perfect balance.
As I continue this series of Celebrating Christmas Around the World, we are going to the Czech Republic. Part of Jamie’s family history lies in the Czech Republic. I am a little bit familiar with Czech cuisine because where I lived in Texas was influenced by the Czech. I wrote a post a while back that featured a Czech food that I miss here in Idaho. Kolaches are a delicious Czech breakfast food.
Czech Christmases are much like German Christmases. They celebrate Saint Nicholas Day on a separate day from Christmas. In the Czech Republic, it is celebrated on December 5th. In the evening, the children wait for St. Nicholas to visit. He comes with a couple good angels and a couple devils. He asks the children if they have been good and asks them to sing a song or recite a poem. If they have been good, he gives them a basket of gifts. The basket usually has chocolates and fruit. If they have been bad, the devils give them a lump of coal.
Like the Germans, the main Christmas celebration for the Czechs is on Christmas Eve. The Christmas tree will be decorated on Christmas Eve. Many people will fast all day hoping to see a vision of the golden pig on the wall before dinner. It is a sign of good luck. Dinner is served after sunset. Considering that sunset is usually around 4pm, the meal is served around a normal dinner time. Dinner usually consists for carp and potato salad. Often mushrooms, fish soup or sauerkraut is served before hand.
The carp is raised in special ponds and sold in tubs along the street. Christmas is the only time you will see them being sold this way. Many families will keep their carp in the bathtub as a pet for the children for several days before Christmas.
After dinner, they will sing Christmas carols. During this time, presents are brought to the Christmas tree. The children believe that Baby Jesus brings the presents. Before Christmas, children will write their wish lists to Baby Jesus. Presents are opened after dinner.
One of the desserts of Czech Christmas is Apple Strudel. I’m much more on board with this dessert than I am with their Christmas dinner.
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