Refugee women serve up Ukrainian cuisine from Prague food truck

Visitors to the Prague Market can enjoy a delicious meal themselves or buy a portion of food for those in need.

Kathrin Yaromich

Written by Kathrin Yaromich Published on 08.04.2022 12:00:00 (updated on 09.04.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

A newly opened food truck at Prague Market (Pražské tržnice) offers authentic Ukrainian borscht and other specialties prepared by women who have fled the war.

Visitors to the market can enjoy a delicious meal themselves or buy a portion of food for those in need. The prepaid portions will be converted into vouchers to be distributed among Ukrainian refugees.

With 25 years of experience in the gastronomic industry, Nadia is determined to bring the taste of true Ukrainian delicacies to Prague Market.

On the day of the opening, she served traditional borscht and dumplings. In the future. she also plans to cook "nalysnyky" – special pancakes with chicken and mushroom sauce – and many other authentic recipes. The menu at the Ukrainian food truck will change daily, depending on who is cooking. 

Photo: Kathrin Yaromich
Photo: Kathrin Yaromich

With interest in traditional Ukrainian cuisine on the rise throughout the Czech Republic, similar projects have sprung up in the Czech capital in recent weeks including Prague 4's Bistro Vltava staffed by four refugees who fled Kyiv during the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Due to the situation in Ukraine, many restaurants fear shortages of buckwheat and other ingredients essential to dishes like stuffed cabbage, dark bread, and porridge.

Nora Fridrichová, the founder of the Šatník foundation which operates a public wardrobe on the market's premises, notes that the majority of Ukrainians whom she encounters are eager to get socially involved and start working.

Since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, Šatník has been distributing material assistance, clothing, toys, household equipment, toiletries, and other commodities to up to 500 people a day. 

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According to Fridrichová, the number of people seeking assistance has recently decreased.

In recent years, the city of Prague has been carrying out plans to revitalize the market area and restore its cultural significance. 

Photo Kathrin Yaromich
Photo\; Kathrin Yaromich

"The Ukrainian food truck is the result of cooperation between the city and two tenants of the Prague Market, the Šatník Foundation, and the Food Truck Point, which are among the symbols of new activities in the area, emphasizing its openness and accessibility for all Praguers and visitors," says Pavel Vyhnánek, Deputy Mayor of Finance and Budget.

"I would like this initiative to become an example of the involvement of refugees in working life in Prague," he adds.

Photo: City of Prague
Photo: City of Prague

Reflecting on her emotions following her first day at the truck, Nadia, who came to the Czech Republic from Lviv with her 16-year-old son, says that the special atmosphere of support has helped her get through the hardships.

"Even though I don't speak the Czech language, we all understand each other," she says. "Czechs are wonderful people who made me feel very comfortable."

The Ukrainian point at the Food Truck Zone is open MondaySaturday from 11 a.m.–8 p.m. Now in its third year, the refreshment zone is located at Hall 22 in the Prague Market complex.

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