Insects on the Menu – Entomophagy in Prague

Jiskra loves to experiment with food and began cooking with insects five years ago. The lunch menu was much more extensive than the average insect tasting with mealworms, crickets, grasshoppers and cockroaches on offer. You could eat a three-course cricket meal with crickets in the soup as well as the typically-Czech fried cheese but also covered in chocolate as dessert…

Wednesday, March 16th was a special day for Prague-based HP and Microsoft employees who were offered insect meals for lunch. The seemingly ordinary cafeteria was decorated with plastic spiders, allergy warnings and facts about entomophagy.

“The six-legged menu attracted people who really wanted to experiment,” said Martin Jiskra, head chef and manager of Momento DELTA restaurant. “I was nervous at first but it turned out to be a great success.”

Jiskra loves to experiment with food and began cooking with insects five years ago. The lunch menu was much more extensive than the average insect tasting with mealworms, crickets, grasshoppers and cockroaches on offer. You could eat a three-course cricket meal with crickets in the soup as well as the typically-Czech fried cheese but also covered in chocolate as dessert.

“It was the first time I organized an insect-eating event in a restaurant like this,” Jiskra said, “but the outcome was so good that we’ll probably do it again.”

Although it was the first insect feast at Momento DELTA, insect tasting events are fairly common in the Czech Republic, however, selling them as food in a supermarket isn’t exactly legal. According to Czech law, insects arenot considered a food which makes them unsuitable for human consumption.

This law doesn’t make serving insects illegal at events – however, it prevents restaurants from having them on their permanent menu. However for events like this, if you follow all the hygiene laws and regulations, there are no problems. Jiskra has proved this before when he served other exotic meals including bear and zebra meat.

The chef points out that cooking with insects is much safer than handling common meats such as beef and chicken. There are no GMOs or antibiotics in insects and they cannot carry any diseases that are harmful to humans because they would die from them too. There are no safety concerns from an insect from a certified breeder that is handled correctly – with the exception of allergies: people who are allergic to shellfish are warned that they may react similarly when eating insects.

Before cooking insects, Jiskra recommends that chefs and culinary enthusiasts read published literature about the topic. There are currently four books about entomophagy in Czech and they explain how to handle the insects prior to cooking them.

The insects served in Momento DELTA were closely watched to ensure that they look healthy, aren’t eating their excrements and were fed oregano for two days to enhance their flavor. The feedback on the event was great and approximately 480 insect meals were served. While the restaurant received fewer visitors than usual, very few people asked for insect-less meals.

Two days before the event, Jiskra organized a presentation to explain the benefits and history of insect-eating around the world. Insects contain proteins, minerals and enzymes that are great for the human body. They can also be bred, reared and processed much more sustainably than other meats which could have a large positive impact on the environment and the economy. Currently, the largest issues are the legal and bureaucratic ones.

“If people’s attitude and understanding about eating insects changes; laws will too,” concludes Jiskra.

Originally published here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/olena-kagui/insects-on-the-menu_b_9506770.html

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CZECH CHRISTMAS MARKETS 2016

It’s finally that time of year again! Follow the scent of roasted chestnuts and mulled wine to one of Prague’s many Christmas markets. The Náměstí Míru market is officially open for business and the rest will follow soon.

The traditional markets bring hundreds of thousands of tourists to Prague every winter. The seasonal fairs, special events and a 31-meter tall Christmas tree Old Town Square bring as much enjoyment to locals as they do for visitors. Hand-blown glass ornaments, carefully sculpted wooden toys and colorfully-knitted hats are just a few of the wonderful gifts that you can find here.

Read the full article on Prague.TV’s website. The best place to discover Prague, like a local!
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FOFOLA AND OTHER CZECH YOUTUBE SENSATIONS

Czechs are commonly teased for living in the past; but while local radio stations are still playing hits from 2005, Czechs are getting millions of views on YouTube. Ihned.cz researched the top 10 most watched non-music videos made by Czechs (and Slovaks) and came up with some hilarious results.

Read the full article on Prague.TV’s website. The best place to discover Prague, like a local!

http://prague.tv/en/s72/Directory/c218-Technology/n5049-Fofola-and-Other-Czech-YouTube-Sensations

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Easter in the Czech Republic

Easter is a popular Christian holiday celebrated by many around the world. However according to the 2010 Eurobarometer Poll, Czech Republic is the 5th most atheist country in Europe. According to this poll, 16% believe that there is a God, 44% believe that there is some sort of spirit, and 37% don’t believe in any type of spirit, God or life force. But Czechs still love to celebrate Easter and have many unique customs, some involving whips…

http://blog.foreigners.cz/easter-in-the-czech-republic/

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Alena Wilson makes little black dresses for real women

Czech fashion designer Alena Wilson finds inspiration, in clients and models who are all “real women.” The 37-year-old’s first collection was a series of simple and elegant small black dresses, or SBDs. She says every woman needs two SBDs in her closet: one that is simple and can be worn with anything and decorated accordingly with accessories, and another for special occasions that’s more fun and sexy.

Czech fashion designer Alena Wilson finds inspiration, in clients and models who are all “real women.” The 37-year-old’s first collection was a series of simple and elegant small black dresses, or SBDs. She says every woman needs two SBDs in her closet: one that is simple and can be worn with anything and decorated accordingly with accessories, and another for special occasions that’s more fun and sexy.

Fashions designed to fit healthy women find a substantial audience, first published here: http://www.praguepost.com/fashion2/38652-alena-wilson-makes-small-black-dresses-for-real-women

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