Pastrami – the NYC delicacy finally in Prague

The meat product pastrami, which has been popular in snack bars all over the world for years, has finally reached Prague.

History

Pastrami is a meat delicacy that has its origin in Romanian and Turkish cuisines. The word “pastrami” is derived from the Romanian verb “a pǎstra”, which means “preserve”. Carpathian villagers have been preserving meat by smoking since a long time ago. The Turkish meal called “pastirma” might be another predecessor of this dish but in this case the meat was dried, not smoked. However, pastrami is much more often associated with Jewish cuisine as it has become a popular kosher meal. It was introduced to the United States together with the two million Jewish immigrants who came to the country in the 1930s. They opened snack bars and specialised shops called “deli”, where pastrami and other delicacies are still sold today. Such places have always held the community together and reminded the people of their home through traditional cuisine but at the same time, they have always been opened to everyone.  The family businesses are passed from one generation to another. Click on the link to learn more about one such traditional “deli” on Manhattan – Katz’s Delicatessen, http://katzsdelicatessen.com/, VIDEO https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FEHrI0FGOOQ

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Preparation

Pastrami is made from beef brisket or short ribs. Pastrami from lamb, poultry and fish is also popular, while pork is rather rare. Preparing pastrami is quite a time-consuming and demanding process. Well rested meat (if beef is used) must be brined for at least 7 to 10 days, depending on the thickness and weight of the meat. Cooks are very protective of their original brine recipes. The cured meat is cooked at low temperature and then in steam in order to get rid of the unnecessary salt  and finally, the meat is smoked. Pastrami is traditionally served with rye bread, mustard and pickles (cucumbers, sweet pepper, cabbage…). In pastrami delis, sandwiches with a thick layer of meat and vegetables, dressings and other ingredients are extremely popular.

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Where can I get pastrami in Prague?

There are several places in Prague, where pastrami sandwiches are served from time to time, for example at the deli Lahůdkářství Sváček, http://www.lahudkarstvisvacek.cz/ or Naše maso, http://nasemaso.ambi.cz/cz/. The only specialised deli offering a wide range of pastrami sandwiches and other delicacies in Prague is La Bibiche, https://www.facebook.com/labibicheprague. The nice small bistro in the quarter Vinohrady on 21, Francouzská Street has been opened for already two years. They offer the usual pastrami dishes with coriander and ginger mustard, cabbage and cucumbers. Apart from these sandwiches, their daily menu includes warm pastrami meals (with jalapenos, homemade truffle mayonnaise, omelettes and others), seasonal pastrami, pastrami wraps and croissants. La Bibiche is not only about meat, they also have soups, salads, homemade pies and lemonades, beers from small breweries, special wines and choice coffee espressos on their menu.  The bistro also offers various vegetarian meals.

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La Bibiche, 21, Francouzská Street, Prague 2 (TRAM stop Jana Masaryka), MON- FRI 9:30 am – 7:00 pm, tel. 728 796 707, labibicheprague@gmail.com, https://www.facebook.com/labibicheprague

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Mánes Exhibition Hall and Pasta Oner presents – Last Day in Paradise

Manes Exhibition Hall
Mánes Exhibition Hall is a traditional part of Prague’s cultural life. It’s dramaturgy includes exhibitions of leading figures in both Czech and international art spheres, it gives opportunities to many young artists and also hosts historical and retrospective exhibitions. The building itself was designed in functionalist style by architect Otakar Novotny and completed in 1930, replacing old Štítovské Mlýny that were torn down. It connects Masaryk’s embankment on the right bank of Vltava River, with the famous Slav Island and borders with historical Štíkovská water tower. The first exhibition that took place there was Hundred Years of Czech art 1830 – 1930 fallowed by many events that helped to establish it’s renown of a prestigious exhibition hall. In the period of 2013 – 2014 the hall went through complete reconstruction and today is used for many other cultural activities – lectures, projections, workshops, auctions, thanks to newly installed modern equipment. Last week it hosted an exhibition of Pasta Oner, one of the most striking names in current Czech art scene.
 
Pasta Oner
Pasta oner is a pioneer in graffiti and street art in Czech Republic. His real name is Zdeněk Řanda and he started with graffiti when he was just 13 years old. He used to be know as a leading figure in Prague’s writer scene, but throughout his more than 20 years of working, he began to direct his pieces more and more into galleries and exhibition halls more than on the walls of building and trains. During last years he took part in 30 collective exhibitions and made 3 of his own. He strongly aims towards individualism and being provocative and his personal handwriting is widely recognized as very original and inimitable. Most of his creations are acrylic paintings, hanging paintings and technologically complex spatial objects, plastics and installations, as well as large format paintings in ambitious public spaces.

Mánes Exhibition Hall and Pasta Oner presents - Last Day in Paradise
Last Day in Paradise
Last Day in Paradise puts his traditional topics of reflecting fortune, sex, luxury and other hedonistic pleasures into context of his personal position inside current modern consumer society, growing cybernetism and fast information, which made it even more provocative than usual. He makes fun, but he also acknowledges being part of what he’s mocking. The expositions contained things like giant golden lollypops falling from a tree, Mickey Mouse coming out of an egg or giant cross with flashing neon “Welcome” and “Open”. All the pieces were from this year. The exhibition met large success as Pasta’s name is widely recognized not only among young people today and there will certainly be a new one in not too distant future. We at ThinkPrague will keep you informed, whether it will be one in Manes Exhibition Hall or one by Pasta Oner.

4 best spots in Prague for families

Are you planning a family vacation? Looking for things to do for all ages? And want an unforgettable family vacation? Prague has plenty to offer for families, including a zoo, museum and mirror maze. Below you can find the destinations that will be sure to pique your interest.

Toy Museum 

This museum is situated at the Prague Castle near the Golden street. The Toy Museum covers two floors with seven rooms. There is an extensive exhibition of unique toys at this museum. It houses antique toys including traditional Czech toys as cars, planes, motorcycles and trains. On top of that, there are teddy bears, robots, steam engines and a collection of Barbie dolls. This place is well worth a visit for children or adults. Besides, there are many places nearby for visitors to get food and drink they like. If you visit this Museum, you will spend a great time with your kids.

Image credits: myworldshots.com

Prague Zoo

This zoo is one of the most visited zoological gardens in the Czech Republic. It is situated near the Trója Chateau in Prague. At this zoo, there are 5000 animals and 650 species such as penguins, gorillas, turtles, sea lions, lions, tigers, suricates, flamingoes and elephants. Your kids can find a number of fun play areas. By way of illustration, your kids would appreciate the petting zoo, the train ride and the short chair-lift there. If you want to explore more the attractions nearby, perhaps renting a car will tempt you. You can visit the Trója Chateau or Prague Botanical Garden.

Image credits: zoopraha.cz

National Marionette Theatre

This National Marionette is situated in the Old Town neighborhood of Prague, Czech Republic. It is a must see in Prague. There are true gems of artistic craftsmanship. You will find out world-famous pieces, including Don Giovanni, The Magic Theatre of the Baroque World – Orfeo Ed Euridice. The puppet theatre is suitable for kids. There are also  many activities geared to every age group, for instance the Marionette show and the Puppet Gala Performance that is a mix of the puppeteers’ finest works. You will like this place if you are particularly one of those puppet lovers.

Image credits: panoramio.com – Dimitris Gikas

Mirror Maze

The Mirror Maze is located on the Petřín Hill. It is one of the famous attractions in Prague. This beautiful spot is fun for all ages. There is a room full of mirrors inside this Mirror Maze. If you go there, you will experience unique activities for yourself. You can see infinite reflections of yourself. You can even find shaped mirrors that would reflect you in different funny way. To be more precise, your appearance will change in crazy ways. Moreover, visitors can take photographs in this Maze. Therefore, if you want to keep your children happy and relax, this is the best place.

Image credits: wikimapia.org

Bonus Tip

Boost you children’s knowledge and curiosity in Letná museums.

There is a great combo of two amazing museums that you can visit in Letná area. Both National Technical Museum and The National Museum of Agriculture have many interactive parts that are just perfect for entertaining your kids. Once your visit to the museums is over you can walk just few hundred meters and visit beautiful Letná gardens where you can have a refreshing drink during summer.

Eager to find more ideas on what to do with your kids while visiting Prague? Check out this article with dozens of tips.