Meatless Eastern European Food? Mushrooms are the Answer

Eastern European cuisine is not typically known for meatless options, but mushrooms are a common ingredient when you encounter them. It’s not surprising when you consider the fleshy texture and savory umami flavors of edible fungi. Buddhist monks have known for millennia that mushrooms can satisfy a meat craving, and there is a rich tradition of mushroom-based meat substitutes in Buddhist cuisine.

As I’ve mentioned, my visit to the Czech Republic was short. But, I was in Prague long enough to eat in a few restaurants. Because Prague is a popular tourist destination, restaurateurs know that they need to cater to a wide variety of dietary restrictions. Gluten-free menu options still don’t seem to be so common, but vegetarian and vegan dishes have become more commonplace.

I thought the upcoming Czech dinner would be the perfect time to introduce a vegetarian option to LUKA events. Mushrooms are prized in Eastern European and Slavic countries not only as an ingredient, but also as an activity. Foraging for edible mushrooms has long been a fun way to spend time with family and friends.

Two of my favorite mushroom species are the King Trumpet and Oyster. They both have great flavor and texture, so the meat-free option at the Czech dinner will feature them braised with a plant-based version of the onion-caraway sauce. I happen to know that the earthy perfume of caraway plays very well with mushrooms. I’m confident that it will be delicious.

Tickets remain for that event, but they’re going fast. Check out the event listing on Eventbrite to get your seats.


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