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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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Spotted: Czechoslovak Snacks in Queens, NY!

Published on March 19th, 2015 in Shopping

  • Slovak-Czech Varieties (photo courtesy of www.timeout.com)

  • Inside the shop (photo courtesy of www.timeout.com)

  • Snack shelves (photo courtesy of Google maps)

  • Chocolate treats

  • Tasty treats: Piknik condensed-milk tube, smoked string cheese, Tatranky wafers and Fidorka chocolate

  • Cat's tongue (Kočičí jazýčky) chocolate

 

Calling all homesick Czechpats and true connoisseurs of Czech snack foods on the U.S. East Coast – and let's face it you, are likely a small group. Scott Ross, the New York-based co-author of my book, recently alerted me to a fun and fabulous shop in Long Island City that stocks Tatranky wafers, Mattoni water, Piknik condensed-milk tubes, and other staples of the Czech and Slovak diet.

 

Hankering for a Fidorka Stateside? You'll find it here.

 

Opened by Milan and Jarka in 2003 in an effort to supply smoked sheep string cheese and rohlík bread to their fellow expatriates, while introducing all of L.I.C. to the kitschy beauty of Czech boards games and retro-style Slovak calendars, you might mistake Czech-Slovak Varieties for a Wenceslas Square souvenir kiosk, that has been tragically merchandised, transplanted to Queens.

 

And while wooden toys featuring the ubiquitous Little Mole (Krtek), Czech children's books, Bohemian crystal, and handmade wooden trinkets that owner Milan makes himself take up a good amount of shelf space, the true beauty of this shop is the grocery aisle.

 

Let me be the first to say that I am thrilled Americans can finally try Kofola, the bitter, Communist-era answer to Coca-Cola or pick up a box of Czech-style dumpling mix.

 

This place is such a curiosity that it even made Time Out New York's on-line Shopping and Style section which referred to Czech-Slovak Varieties as an “ethnic department store” with “oddball offerings.”

 

Oddball, to some, perhaps, beloved by others!

 

http://www.slovczechvar.com/

 

 

 

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