Thursday, 17 November 2011

Thanksgiving roundup

Historians are divided on where and when the first Thanksgiving was held in America - some say Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1621; others say Virginia in 1619, and still others say Saint Augustine, Florida in 1565. But there's no arguing the universality of such a holiday, celebrated in some form or another all over the world: the harvest festival.

If historians can't agree on where the first Thanksgiving, technically, was held, then it surely shouldn't matter where on the globe you happen to be when Turkey Day rolls around on the last Thursday of November. This year, it falls on Nov. 24.

You don't need to sit Stateside to get a fix of roast turkey and all the trimmings, and while the day is also traditionally a time to spend with family and friends, if you're traveling or living abroad you know how expansive those concepts can be.

True, a Thanksgiving in Prague probably won't involve watching the Macy's Parade or an American football game, and you most likely will not be able to get a slice of your mother's/aunt's/brother's amazing pecan pie, but there are several good options for feasts around town, as well as ways to find the ingredients needed to host your own. Here is a sampling:

Seeing as Thanksgiving and tradition go hand in hand, American restaurant Jáma is hosting its 17th annual Thanksgiving feast at all three of its New Town locations, with a special deal for students. At the original Jáma (V Jámě 7) and Jáma Steakhouse (Ostrovní 26), "A Traditional Thanksgiving in Prague" starts at 5 p.m. Nov. 24. For 390 Kč a head, the meal includes clam chowder, roast turkey, homemade almond stuffing with gravy, cranberry sauce, chicken gravy, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie with cinnamon. To reserve a table, call Jáma at 222 967 081 or Jáma Steakhouse at 222 542 823.

Jáma Bar & Grill (Petrská 23), hosts a Thanksgiving Dinner just for students. With a valid student ID, hungry thankers can tuck into a meal of turkey meat both light and dark, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie, for 250 Kč. To book, call 224 810 804.

Hilton Old Town (V Celnici 7, Prague 1-New Town) is organizing a special menu for Thanksgiving between 6 and 11 p.m. Nov. 24. The meal includes roast turkey with traditional stuffing and garnishes, coleslaw and pumpkin soup, for 795 Kč.

Hilton Old Town also offers turkey to go, which includes stuffing and a choice of two sides for four persons, for 2,650 Kč. Takeaway must be reserved at least five days in advance. For more info, contact call 221 822 300.

Another option for a catered, at-home Thanksgiving is Culinaria (Skořepka 9, Prague 1-Old Town), where meals or individual items can be ordered for pickup or delivery. Roast turkey comes pre-sliced at 75 Kč per 100 grams, and the deli's list of finger foods and sides includes cranberry-brie parcels, corn fritters, corn chowder, maple pecan salad, Waldorf salad, Brussels sprouts, sweet-potato puree, gravies, pumpkin and pecan pies, and homemade apple cider, to name just a few things. Check out for more info.

If you're tackling the holiday head-on by making your own turkey and trimmings and feel like splashing out for some familiar British and American brands, the butcher-cum-import-shop Robertson is ideal. With several branches around town, including Nusle, Dejvice and Vinohrady, as well as an online shop and pickup/delivery service, whole turkeys and other musts fly off the proverbial shelves, so it's important to order as early as possible to avoid disappointment. A fresh, whole turkey of approximately 7 kilograms will run you 699 Kč, and Robertson also sells turkey crowns and breasts, turkey roll with sausage stuffing, and whole roasted hams. Boxed stuffing favorites like Paxo and Bisto for gravy can also be found here, as well as many other expat treats. For more information on the selection, shop locations and terms, visit

Those looking forward to dessert should check out newcomer Big Sky Pies for homemade pies ranging from classic pumpkin and apple to a delicious apple and cheddar chili pie, each for about 500 Kč. For more information, see

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