The smell is curiously reminiscent of Bean and Bacon soup, a Campbell's variety that I used to like. This seemed a bit odd since it's not a very sausagey smell. The flavor is basically fatty with a vinegar zing to it, and some light notes of pepper and pickling spice linger. Surprisingly, it's quite enjoyable. And yes, if you were wondering, I bought the brand that verges on the obscene.
There's another edgier Czech beer food—tvarůžky. (Photo at right.) These are, according to my former roommates, not true cheese, but something very much like it. They are somehow related to tvaroh (a sweet, cheese-like dairy product used in cakes and pastries), but it's hard to taste or see the relationship. Tvarůžky are usually brown and come in little rings; the best ones come from Olomouc. They smell and taste very ripe—one of those foods that explains the expression about cutting the cheese. I've seen them fried at restaurants, but my roommates ate them in small pieces with butter-smothered bread and raw onions and a liberal sprinkling of ground black pepper on the top. With a glass of beer on the side, they make a quite potent snack. The mustiness of the cheese and bread combination is overshadowed a bit by the onions, but it complements the beer perfectly. Now I detect hints of tvarůžky in most Czech beers.
Tags: food, czech, beer