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Head Cheese – Lost in Translation

This is the story of an experience I had in Prague back in 2011. It's closer to a literal 'dog's dinner' than I would have liked!

I was on a backpacking trip and was keen to try the local cuisine in each place I visited. I had spent the day doing a walking tour and made friends with another girl there, so we decided to go to a local restaurant together and sample some local dishes.

We both ordered a pork main dish, and had potato dumplings and red cabbage as sides to share. The starter that had caught our eyes was described as 'head cheese' and came with onion and vinegar. Assuming that the 'head' part was just a strange translation, and both being cheese fans, we decided to be adventurous and go for that.

Unfortunately, we can only assume that the 'cheese' part was mis-translated and the 'head' part was in fact correct, because what turned up was a plate of large sausage slices that looked like someone should have tried harder to mush the stuff together before sending it out for public consumption.

Now, I know that the ingredients were probably no different to the average supermarket sausage that I'd eat with no problem, but being able to distinguish lumps of so many different types of meat and not knowing what any of them were was just too much for either of us.

The dish would have been far more suitable for feeding to a dog! Needless to say, neither of us was brave enough to give it a try.

Luckily, the other food that came out was delicious, so we were able to laugh about the 'head cheese' and enjoy the rest of our meal.

The experience didn't put me off trying new foods as I travelled to other countries, but it did make me think twice about ordering anything with such an ambiguous description!

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