Book Review: The Czechoslovak Cookbook by Joza Brizova, translated by Adrienna Vahala

by DerdriuMarriner

The Czechoslovak Cookbook by Joza Brizova becomes available to English-reading audiences thanks to Adrienna Vahala's translation for the renowned Crown Classic Cookbook Series.

Czech cookbooks leave no foods or recipes behind

Czech foods always appear high up on lists of edibles which meet top standards in:
• attractiveness;
• environmental friendliness;
• fragrance;
• nutrition;
• taste, texture; and
• wellness.

They bring balance and beauty to appetizers, meals, and snacks since multi-tasking across groups can be found elegantly and simply in such categories as:
• beers, coffees, grogs, spirits, wines;
• breads, coffee cakes, rolls;
• cakes, confections, cookies, fluffs, gelées, mousses, pastries, puddings, sherbets, soufflés;
• cheeses, eggs, noodles;
• dumplings, pancakes;
• fillings, flavorings, icings;
• game, meats, poultry;
• salads, sandwiches, soups; and
• vegetables.

The Czechoslovak Cookbook written by Joza Brizova (Joza Břízová), translated by Adrienna Vahala, and edited by Charlotte Adams considers all of the above by letting English-reading audiences access the Czech Republic’s all-time best-selling recipes.

Marcipánové brambory (marzipan potatoes): trompe l'oeil potatoes made from marzipan and cocoa

marzipan potatoes
marzipan potatoes

Czech cookbooks make meals happy, harmonious, healthy, hearty


The Czechoslovak Cookbook does not mince words in getting to the essence of respected, successful compilations of chef-, reader-, taster-friendly recipes. It encourages recipe-collectors to extend and review their knowledge of Czech cuisine by:

  • nudging recipes into food-grouped chapters;
  • organizing recipes alphabetically by English designation, followed by original Czech wordings; and
  • putting entries in Czech and English for all recipes within a 20-page, user-friendly index.

Readers also find taste-enhancing options, such as:

  • barley, rice in mock beef soup;
  • cocoa in marzipan;
  • eggs in boiled beef tongue;
  • frankfurters, smoked meats in rye-bread or tripe soup;
  • milk, yolks in smoked meat soup;
  • sour cream, tomatoes in veal paprika;
  • whipped cream in fruit sherbet; and
  • whites in black-and-white Linz dough. 


Homemade tartar sauce made with homemade mayonnaise: enjoyably fresh

Tatarská omáčka (tartar sauce)
Tatarská omáčka (tartar sauce)

Czech cookbooks nurture berry-, fruit-, nut-lovers' bucket lists


Czech cuisine always gets high marks for:

  • attention to detail;
  • contributions to health;
  • emphasis on in-season, local resources;
  • simplicity of instructions;
  • use of leftovers and scraps; and
  • versatility in multi-tasking role-playing.

Joza’s cookbook therefore holds an informational treasure-house on:

  • correcting curdled butter cream icing or home-made mayonnaise;
  • larding bacon;
  • substituting compressed and granular yeasts, instantized and 00-type flours, or phosphate-type single-acting and double-acting sodium aluminum sulphate-type baking powders;
  • testing batter and dough consistencies;
  • turning fish blue with vinegar; and
  • understanding brown-liquid, clear-liquid, firm-ball, hard-ball, hard-crack, soft-ball, soft-crack, thread sugar stages and temperatures.

Its information particularly is welcome to lovers of:

  • almonds, chestnuts, filberts, hazelnuts, walnuts; and
  • apples, apricots, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, cranberries, gooseberries, peaches, pears, raspberries, strawberries.  


Czech cuisine features trompe l'oeil candy and cookies fashioned to resemble nuts.

Ořechy (cukroví)
Ořechy (cukroví)

Czech cookbooks offer reasons for eating, enjoying vegetables


So The Czechoslovak Cookbook jet-packs readers into culturally enriching, educationally entertaining, gastronomically enthralling adventures through the Czech Republic’s classic and traditional recipes, thanks to:

  • Charlotte Adams, series editor;
  • Joza Brizova, author;
  • Patti Manzone, jacket designer;
  • Susan McCaslin, jacket illustrator; and
  • Adrienna Vahala, translator.

It keeps company with such Crown Classic Cookbook Series releases as:

  • Maria Lyons Bar-David, The Israeli Cook Book;
  • Ada Boni, The Talisman Italian Cook Book;
  • A.Escoffier, The Escoffier Cook Book and Guide to the Fine Art of Cookery;
  • O. and A. Hess, Viennese Cooking;
  • Wallace Yee Hong, The Chinese Cook Book;
  • Leah W. Leonard, Jewish Cookery;
  • Maria Ochorowicz-Monatowa, Polish Cookery;
  • Maria Ojakangas, The Finnish Cookbook;
  • Elizabeth Schuler, German Cookery; and
  • Lie Sek-Hiang, Indonesian Cookery


The Czechoslovak Cookbook (Crown Classic Cookbook) by Joza Brizva

Czechoslovakia's best-selling cookbook adapted for American kitchens. Includes recipes for authentic dishes like Goulash, Apple Strudel, and Pischinger Torte.
Czech cuisine



My special thanks to:

  • Talented artists and photographers/concerned organizations who make their fine images available on the Internet;
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University for superior on-campus and on-line resources.


Well known for hearty meat dishes, Czech cuisine also favors enticing fruit- and nut-stuffed pastries: plum jam and poppy seed kolaches.

Tradiční české koláčky - makové a povidlové, Česká republika (Koláčky - czech sweet bread with plum jam or poppy seeds)
Tradiční české koláčky - makové a povidlové, Česká republika (Koláčky - czech sweet bread with plum jam or poppy seeds)

Sources Consulted


Brizova, Joza. 1965. The Czechoslovak Cookbook. Translated from the Czech Vaříme Zdravě, Chutně a Hospodárně of Joza Břízová and adapted by Adrienna Vahala. Edited for Crown Classic Cookbook Series by Charlotte Adams. New York, NY: Crown Publishers, Inc. 


Czech cuisine appreciates the elegance of Pischinger tortes, made with oblaten (thin wafers), which fancify every table.

Pischinger (chocolate oblaten cake)
Pischinger (chocolate oblaten cake)
the end which is also the beginning
the end which is also the beginning

You Are What You Eat: black t-shirt ~ available via AllPosters

You Are What You Eat
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Me and my purrfectly purrfect Maine coon kittycat, Augusta "Gusty" Sunshine

Gusty and I thank you for reading this article and hope that our product selection interests you; Gusty Gus receives favorite treats from my commissions.
DerdriuMarriner, All Rights Reserved
DerdriuMarriner, All Rights Reserved
Updated: 03/27/2015, DerdriuMarriner
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DerdriuMarriner on 04/06/2015

Mira, Yes, time does fly, and, yes, Prague regales with a plethora of sights and events. Czech cuisine impresses with contrasts of delicacy and heartiness and especially for creative recipes for leftovers so there is no waste. I hope that you'll travel again to Prague to add to your memories of that captivating, unique city.

Mira on 04/06/2015

I recognize those petit fours in the photos -- except the kolaches, which look yummy, too. I hope I'll get to travel to Prague again because there's a lot to see and do there. It's been so long since my last visit; I can't believe how time flies.

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