In Prague, dumplings that say ‘Mom’

Petr Kosiner owns the Czech Republic's first homemade dumpling shop. He hopes to change the misconception that "store-bought" can't compare to homemade for one of the country's staple side dishes.

By , Contributor

• A local, slice-of-life story from a Monitor correspondent.

“Since I’ve started making my own dumplings, I don’t buy them anymore,” said Zdenek Snajder, a Prague resident. “I can alter the recipe based on what I am serving them with, and my wife prefers them.”

The Czech dumpling is a locally cherished side dish that serves to soak up sauces. It is often paired with traditional Czech meals such as goulash and sliced beef with cream sauce.

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But sampling the work of Petr Kosiner, owner of the country’s first homemade dumpling shop, might change Mr. Snajder’s mind about “store-bought” houskove knedliky.

Mr. Kosiner’s dumpling shop has only been open since the summer, but he’s been selling to restaurants and at farmers’ markets for nearly a year. His bread, potato, herbed, and meat-and fruit-filled dumplings have the “just like homemade” taste not found in most store-bought brands. “I have special recipes – my dumplings must be better,” Kosiner says.

He says Czechs can taste the difference between mass-produced dumplings and ones only Mom can make. He hopes to win over those who have sworn off the “inferiority” of commercial dumplings.

“We have a totally different way of thinking; [my dumplings are] homemade with good quality ingredients.”

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