Food in Bratislava
Among the most popular Slovak foods are rezen (breaded steak) and potatoes, as well as other kinds of meat served with potatoes, rice, dumplings, or pasta and sauce.
Some sweet dishes, such as prune dumplings, are served as part of the main course. The national dish is bryndzove halusky (small potato dumplings, similar to gnocchi, served with sheep's cheese), but it is not eaten often at home. Freshly baked bread and soup are important parts of the diet. Dairy products, such as milk, cheese and butter, are widely available. Fresh fruits (especially apples, plums and grapes) are abundant, and imported bananas and oranges are also popular. Potatoes, cabbage and carrots are the most frequently eaten vegetables. Popular desserts include kolac (nut or poppy-seed rolls) and torta (cake).
Breakfast consists of bread and rolls, sliced meat or sausage, and cheese. The main meal is traditionally eaten in the middle of the day and commonly includes soup, meat, dumplings or potatoes, and a vegetable. A lighter meal of cold meats, cheese, and bread is eaten in the evening. Mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks are common. Families usually eat together at weekends, but not always on weekdays. Before eating, the head of the household says Dobru chut' (the equivalent of "Enjoy your meal"), and others at the table respond with the same. Both hands are kept above the table, but elbows do not rest on it. A plate of freshly baked bread is often served before the meal.
Rural Slovaks might serve friends or relatives slanina (home-smoked bacon) and bread, as well as a drink such as homemade slivovica (plum brandy), or beer, coffee or tea. Urban hosts tend to serve chips, nuts and wine rather than something homemade. On special occasions, a tray of ham, cheese, eggs, vegetables and sweets may be served. An empty cup or glass will be refilled, so guests leave a little bit of drink when they have had enough.
When guests are present, women typically serve the meal; it is not unusual to serve a meal for the guest alone. Slovaks toast by saying Na zdravie ("To your health") on both formal and informal occasions. In a restaurant it is common to drink beer, wine, soft drinks or mineral water during the meal and a small cup of coffee after it. Milk is considered a children's drink. Water is not provided unless it is requested.
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