So where do we begin? Do we start with the story of Beránek’s life first or do we begin with the cookbook?
Well, that was an easy one! We will start with the book and then move on to the second half of this piece with our exclusive translation from the 1921 edition of Amerikán Národní Kalendář.
“Nová Domácí Kuchařka pro Česko-Americké Hospodyné”
Published in 1896, this cookbook’s title is translated as “New Home Cookbook for the Czech-American Housekeeper”. It is interesting to note Beránek was a multifaceted man, well educated in a variety of languages and skills, but whose heart was always drawn to food and its preparations.
For those of us who are not totally conversant in Czech one of the nicest aspects of this book is that Beránek lists each recipe first by its Czech name, then its name in English, and then in French.
For example recipe #871 is titled Bramborové Knedlíky. This is followed by the English, Potato Dumplings, and the French, Boulettes de Pommes de Terre.
So it is with each of the 1,300+ recipes he provides for us in this wonderful look back in Czech culinary time!
There are sections for soup (polévka), warm and cold appetizers (Příchoutky), Sauces (omáčky), which happens to include nine catsup recipes – tomato, mushroom, walnut, red pepper, cucumber, cabbage, cold, currant, and grape, butters (másla), vinegars (octy), seasonings (míšeninky), garnishings (Obklady k masu, pečením atd.), oysters, crawfish, frogs, etc. (ústřice, raci, žáby atd.), fish (ryby), beef (hovězí maso.), veal (telecí maso.), mutton (skopové maso.), pork (mepřové maso.), poultry (drůbež), which includes chicken, squab, capon, goose, duck, teal, and turkey, game (zvěřina), which includes venison, boar, hare, partridge, rabbit, quail, prairie chicken, snipe, pheasant, and ‘small birds’, meat pies (masité paštiky.), aspics of meat (masité rosoly.), salads (saláty), vegetables (zeleniny.), which is where you find such items as chestnuts, morels, truffles, and more, eggs (vejce), farinaceous, meaning made with flour (moučná jídla), which is the location of the all-important knedlíky, sweet entremets (sladké příkrmy.), sweet sauces (sladké omáčky), pastry (jemné pečivo), cake fillings (nádivky do koláčů), bakery (obyčejné pečivo.), preserved vegetables (naloženiny.), preserves (zavařeniny.), fruit juices (ovocné štávy.), ices (zmrzliny.), and drinks (nápoje.), which includes wines, mead, ciders, cocktails, and others). Remember this is over five hundred pages providing us with 1,376 recipes!
This wonderful volume also includes how to fold napkins in very fancy designs! Designs such as a fan, a cross, which I do not recall ever having seen before, a peacock, rose, crown, and a couple of others. Plus Chef Beránek includes a section on how to properly carve each type of meat.
BUT perhaps the handiest and most useful to me, as a non-Czech speaker/reader is the four pages at the end of the book. These four pages, included below for you, list dozens and dozens of Czech words related to food and cooking and their English translation. Plus for those who are Czech and not English speakers, you can see he included the Czech phonetic pronunciation for each English word.
I hope you enjoyed this section…now watch for more about the Czech-American author and chef, Emanuel Persein Beránek!
Onward To Our Past®