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Prague: ARTĚL Style

Expert recommendations and insider tips for first-time visitors and locals alike from ARTĚL’s founder, Karen Feldman, who has lived in Prague since 1994. Click on the links below for detailed reviews – from Feldman’s own unique perspective – of all the best that Prague has to offer...

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Heart-Shaped Gingerbread Perfect for Valentine's Day

Published on February 12th, 2015 in Shopping

  • Perníčkův sen - Gingerbread Dream (photo courtesy of www.pernickuvsen.cz)

  • Linzer cookies (photo courtesy of Perníčkův sen facebook page)

  • Gingerbread hearts (photo courtesy of www.pernickuvsen.cz)

  • Cake and jam-filled linzer cookies (photo courtesy of www.pernickuvsen.cz)

  • Sakrajdička (photo courtesy of www.pernickuvsen.cz)

  • Gingerbread men (photo courtesy of www.pernickuvsen.cz)

  • Gingerbread cartoons

  • Gingerbread booze

  • Carp Gingerbread (photo courtesy of Perníčkův sen facebook page)

  • Perníčkův sen - Gingerbread Dream (photo courtesy of Perníčkův sen facebook page)


Czech gingerbread (perník) hails from the town of Pardubice where the art of gingerbread making began around 1515. The tradition is so strong that the EU has made "Pardubice gingerbread" a protected food. Anything labeled as such must adhere to the strict production methods that originated in this charming town which boasts its own gingerbread street, museum, and even a gingerbread house [www.pernikova-chaloupka.cz/].

 

Prague recently got it's very own gingerbread "house." Perníčkův sen (Gingerbread Dream) is a tiny shop on the quiet end of Haštalská Street that specializes in authentic Pardubice gingerbread in both of its forms: honeyed gingerbread shapes decorated with marzipan, and the spongier variety that typically comes as two layers of gingerbread with jam in the middle, dipped in chocolate.

 

But the former seems to be the most popular gingerbread treat among Czechs, particularly heart shapes bearing names and sentiments. At Gingerbread Dream you will find a vast and gorgeously decorated array of these hearts. They make for a lovely, if a bit unusual, Valentine's Day gift.

 

Beyond hearts you will find gingerbread here in just about every shape, size, and motif imaginable. Looking for an offbeat shower gift? How about a carriage constructed entirely from gingerbread complete with marzipan baby? There are also gingerbread renderings of bottles of Czech booze, classic Czech cartoon characters, and, as I noticed on a pre-holiday visit, a Christmas carp.

 

 

 

 

On a second, more recent, visit I sampled some of the fresh baked offerings—many of them very old-fashioned items that you are unlikely to come by anywhere else in Prague. The house speciality, sakrajdička, a gingerbread strudel filled with plum jam (povidla), is nothing short of heavenly as were the chocolate-coated soft gingerbread shapes, and heart-shaped, jam-filled linzer cookies. Coffee is served as well.

 

You can also make your beloved a customized gingerbread confection at one of the regular baking workshops held in this cozy space. The lacy décor, vintage cake stands, and wooden display cupboards definitely give it the feel of baking at grandma's place. And don't leave without buying the baker in your life a jar of the house gingerbread spices—he or she will love you forever!

 

Then again, if you want chocolate and candy it's here. Tablets of the Czech brand ChocoMe are available as are old-fashioned hard-candy lollipops, though personally I think the gingerbread-heart-on-a-stick option offers the best of both worlds.

 

A true find for any time of the year.

 

 

Perníčkův sen (Gingergread Dream)

Haštalská 21, Prague 1, Staré Město
www.pernickuvsen.cz/
tel +420 607 773 350
hours Daily 10:00–18:00
metro Náměstí Republiky
tram 5, 8, 14, 26 to Dlouhá třída

 

 

 

 

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