In the Czech kitchen: A lip-smacking lard spread recipe for Fat Thursday

Fat Thursday (Tučný čtvrtek) falls on Feb. 8 this year. Here's where to dig into pork specialities in Prague plus how to make Czech lard spread at home.


Written by Ambiente Published on 31.01.2024 15:05:00 (updated on 06.02.2024) Reading time: 2 minutes

The Czech carnival season starts on Jan. 6 with Three Kings Day and concludes on Ash Wednesday, signaling the start of the forty-day Lenten fast. In Czech tradition, the masopust season historically marked the transition from winter to spring, celebrating life and planning for farm work.

During this period, elaborate pork feasts, often involving extended family or entire villages, took place. Just before Ash Wednesday, Fat Thursday held a special significance, as it was customary to indulge in a pork-heavy menu to build strength for the upcoming year.

Over time, the term "masopust" has evolved to primarily encompass the last three days of the carnival season—Shrove Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday—when revelry peaks. Following Fat Thursday, Friday, and Saturday were spent peacefully, gathering energy for the final celebrations that culminate on Ash Wednesday.

This year, Fat Thursday (Tučný čtvrtek) falls on Feb. 8. The revelry is typically associated with sweet, savory, and sinful dishes such as koblihy (jelly donuts) and this classic spread made of lard. The chefs at Hospoda U Kalendů in Prague have shared their recipe for a meaty spread that’s a mainstay of the masopust table.

Lard spread (škvarková pomazánka)


  • 2 kg lard greaves
  • 1 kg of Prague ham cracklings
  • 1½ kg of confit pork belly (or roasted pork belly)
  • 300 g carmelized onions
  • 5 tbsp yellow mustard
  • 300 g pickles, finely chopped
  • Pickle juice, to taste
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  • 1.Grind the lardons, Prague ham, pork belly, or pork belly, and onion in a meat grinder.
  • 2.Stir in mustard and pickles, and season pickle juice, salt, and pepper.

Chef's tip

You can mash some of the cracklings with a fork, and the spread will have a coarser and more interesting texture. Adding lard makes the crackling spread better on bread. Preštice cracklings, Prague ham, and smoked lard can be bought at Našo Maso.

Celebrate Fat Thursday in Czechia

In recent years, local pubs have revived the Fat Thursday tradition nationwide by offering generous portions and embracing the spirit of overindulgence. On Feb. 8 visitors can sit down to larger portions at standard prices, including decadent appetizers, abnormally large desserts, and bottomless drinks.

Among the participating Ambiente restaurants, Brasileiro U Zelené žáby has an extra large charcuterie board, a Dutchman sandwich at Bufet goes double-decker, Burger Service has a pork smash burger, Café Savoy has a full English breakfast, and special Fat Thursday themed amuse bouche come to Čestr and Štangl. Double portions are available at Lokál pubs, and specialty sandwiches are served at Naše Maso, as well as buchtičky and větrník at Myšák bakery.

In addition to Ambiente restaurants, other participating eateries include Alma restaurant, Kro Kitchen bistro, Kus Pie Bakery, bistro Nhà hai hành and Big Smokers, Sandwich Rodeo, and Mr.HotDoG will also have Fat Thursday feasts. You can stay up-to-date on all the happenings by following #tučnýčtvrtek2024 on Instagram.

In the Czech Kitchen is a weekly column written in cooperation with the culinary experts from Ambiente. Established in 1995, the Prague-based collective of pubs, restaurants, and fine-dining outlets has transformed the Czech culinary landscape and led to widespread awareness of quality food service and production in Czechia. Follow their socials or book your table at

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