While the picturesque region below the Beskydy Mountains is an inviting holiday destination for its unique folk architecture and beautiful nature alone, its regional gastronomy is also worth exploring.
Probably the most famous delicacy to come from the region (aside from slivovice) is frgál, a traditional pastry made of leavened dough and sprinkled with a sweet crumble.
You can now learn how to bake this fruity pastry pizza directly from Wallachian confectioners as part of the Frgál Baking Courses organized by Valachy Resort Velké Karlovice this summer.
The best recipes and tips for ensuring delicious results are all a part of the twice-weekly Frgal Baking Courses, led by bakers who hail from the area who have been making frgál, which is eaten at weddings and celebratory occasions, using family recipes passed down through the generations.
“The basis is mainly quality raw materials. As for fat, our great-grandmothers used duck fat, but it will also be well replaced by classic butter or Hera. I also recommend using smooth special flour, quality fresh milk, and, if you have the opportunity, also farm-fresh eggs,” says confectioner Petra Stoklasová from the Valachy Resort, who has been baking frgáls since she was 15 years old.
Stoklasová who learned how to make the pastry from her grandparents, says it’s important to let the ingredients warm to room temperature before baking which makes them easier to work with and combine. She adds that during the high tourist season, they can bake up to 100 frgáls daily.
The course came about six years ago when visitors to area hotels where the pastry was served for both breakfast and dessert began asking how the traditional Wallachian cakes were made. Since then, the courses have been attended by hundreds of people, and interest in them is growing year by year.
Summer courses take place at the Galik Hotel. In less than three hours, participants learn how to bake like a Wallachian. “In addition to taking home a hand-made frgál, participants will receive a certificate of admission to the Wallachian bakery guild,” says Martina Žáčková from the Valachy Resort.
Guests booking a weekly stay have the class included in the rate included.
Wallachian Frgál fun facts
- The first surviving mentions of frgáls date back to 1826.
- The term “frgál” was originally used for scraps, unsuccessful pieces of pastry.
- Since 2013, “Wallachian Frgál” has been a product with an EU protected geographical indication. These are cakes made in the defined area of Wallachia, which have an average of about 30 cm, weigh 600 grams, and have a single-type filling.
- In the past, frgáls were filled mainly with cabbage, beets, or carrots. Today, the most popular fillings are pear jam, cottage cheese, poppy seeds, jam, blueberries, and nuts, but you can use almost any fruit.
For more details visit valachy.cz.
Want to practice your Czech? Read the original Czech-language version of this article here.