It's all about the breadcrumbs: Czech bloggers map country's best fried cheese

Anna Lucie Helešic and Terezie Kučerová have launched a new online map showcasing reviews of fried cheese from across the Czech Republic.

Jason Pirodsky

Written by Jason Pirodsky Published on 11.09.2022 13:14:00 (updated on 11.09.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

It may not be haute cuisine, but the Czech Republic's ubiquitous fried cheese (Smažený sýr or smažák in local parlance) has its staunch defenders, especially among vegetarians with limited options at the typical Czech restaurant.

Now, fried cheese has its own interactive map featuring hundreds of reviews of the best locations to dine on the Czech classic thanks to bloggers Anna Lucie Helešic and Terezie Kučerová. Their Smažákomap (Map of Fried Cheese) currently boasts 268 reviews of fried cheese sampled at locations in Prague and beyond.

Cheese. Fries. Tartar sauce. Helešic and Kučerová initially created the Instagram account Život ve strouhance (Life in Breadcrumbs) on a whim three years ago, posting weekly reviews of fried cheese at the urging of friends.

"Someone thought after a party that we should do reviews and rate fried cheese so that our friends know where to go for it," Anna recently told Radio Wave.

After building up hundreds of reviews and gaining tens of thousands of followers, the Instagram account rebranded as Smažákolog (Fried Cheese Database) before exporting their data to the handy Smažákomap.

Now, you can easily find the best fried cheese near you, wherever you are in the Czech Republic. In addition to the bloggers' reviews, fan submissions are welcome, and users can give their own star rating to the fried cheeses listed on the map.

But what makes a good fried cheese?

"It's all about the breadcrumbs, if they're homemade breadcrumbs or if they're pre-packaged," Tereza says. Of course, cheese consistency and tartar sauce also make a difference.

"If the cheese melts we rate it highly, and of course the tartar sauce, we love it! When the tartar sauce is so good, we prefer to drink it with a straw," she jokes.

What about the side dish? Traditionally served with boiled potatoes or french fries, Anna prefers her fried cheese with potato croquettes.

"It's about the dining experience, if it's already so fried and unhealthy, it really should be comprehensive," she says. "For me, it's such an emotional rescue."

Ultimately, Anna and Tereza are seeking to bring an oft-dismissed Czech classic back into the spotlight. Based on the heated comments under their reviews and submissions from followers across the country, they're not the only fans of fried cheese.

"Our e-mail is full of reviews. Even if we publish two a day, it's still not enough," Anna told DVTV in a recent interview.

"People argue about the fried cheese in the comments, the price is a hot topic of conversation now."

You can get in the conversation yourself, or leave your own review of a personal favorite, through the new Smažákomap. You might even rediscover a quintessential piece of deep-fried Czech cuisine.

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