Topinky — Dressed and Nude!

Posted by Pussycat in Main Dishes | 2 Comments


I have some time to be completely reclusive this week.  I have the week off work and P is out of town for a few days…. I do not have to see any other human beings.  That can be good or it can be bad.  I can do those things that are shameful when you’re around others. I’m thinking of one thing in particular… something I remember doing when I was much younger and living with my parents.  This indulgence was reserved for Friday nights and with very good reason.

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My mother would fry… YES… fry some good dark dense rye bread, NOT white bread — she always called that bread ‘javex bread’ largely due to its colour and partly due to the fact that you could squish it like a tissue and end up with a cherry sized ball —  but I digress… we would then fry it in a pan with a little bit of oil. Then she would peel several numerous garlic cloves and while the bread was still hot we would take the garlic and rub it on both sides of the nicely browned and crispy fried bread.  The garlic hit from this is shall I say A.M.A.Z.I.N.G and not for the faint hearted!

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Hours later your mouth still feels the burn from the garlic and even more hours later the garlic seeps through your pores and offends anyone within visual distance who may have an aversion to the wafting of garlic oozing from your body.  Hence the Friday night ritual… so that one may have enough time to exude all evidence of the indulgence.

There are many ways to make topinky and when I looked it up on the internet many people egg wash the bread or add eggs or do all sorts of crazy things, things we never did.

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Growing up with this treat you can imagine my shock when I would then go to restaurants and order garlic bread and would be presented with a thick slice of white… WHITE bread that was sometimes crispy and sometimes soggy with butter and hardly a hint of garlic. Most of the time you can’t even tell there’s garlic in there and then they actually feel the need to add parsley… Okay maybe that was for the aesthetics but still! Needless to say I have long since given up eating this bread.

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I have the fortunate pleasure of living with a man that isn’t offended or deterred by the ever present garlic in our house either on the table or wafting from my skin but if there’s even a remote chance of meeting up with anyone else I will will refrain.  So be warned!  Just as a side note this indulgence is much less offensive if enjoyed by everyone around you! So make a huge batch and SHARE the love!  🙂


  • Dark Bread – a good Hungarian thinly sliced bread is best here
  • Duck fat (because I had some) or a bit of oil for the pan
  • 1 clove (at least) of fresh garlic for each slice of bread
  • Sprinkle of sea salt if you wish

Either coat your bread with duck fat or drizzle a bit of oil in a pan. Bring to medium heat and fry the bread until it’s nicely browned.  Remove from pan and rub the garlic on both sides of each slice of bread… Now here, depending on how hungry you are, I was starving so though one slice was covered in cheese and some slow roasted tomatoes the other just had to remain true to the spirit of topinky.  You can dress them or not… I would suggest having at least one naked.  Enjoy and stay away for a couple of days from anyone who hasn’t indulged… be warned!  🙂

2 Responses to Topinky — Dressed and Nude!

  1. Ondrej says:

    Yum! The most usual way of preparing “topinky” is frying them in a significant amount of… pork lard. (If you use enough of it – so much, that the bread literally swims in it while frying – it won’t get overly greasy.) And the most usual topping is actually steak tartare. Which means that if you want to enjoy the most common Czech way of eating topinky, you have to have a high tolerance not only for garlic, but also for raw beef :-).

    • Pussycat says:

      OMG… I remember having the most delicious home made steak tartare with these at my brother’s house in Usti nad Labem a few years ago… and let’s not forget the beer that is a MUST with them! 😉 So damn good! I have to say that I don’t make steak tartare but have fallen more in love with carpaccio like the one I had once in Vegas so beautiful and it tasted even better.

      Ondrej… I had to laugh earlier today as I sat at my parents’ house… keep in mind that my dad was a chef back home and I pressed them about the ‘kudlajda’ vs ‘kulajda’ my mom quickly said ‘it’s kudlajda’ and then went to look it up on the internet… and found that google asked her if she was looking for kulajda. We had to laugh then they started to tell me that they always called it kudlajda and that it’s also called something very different in various parts of the country, often based on region (they said it but I can’t remember and even if I could I’d spell it wrong). When I told her I don’t ever remember her making it with mushrooms or dill she just shrugged and said, ‘You put it what you have and if you don’t have fresh then you do without’. My family did ‘without’ many things while I was growing up being immigrants in a country with no supports, no money, and no familiarity with the language.

      I’m sure that over the years my Czech recipes have most certainly been bastardized based on history and opportunity though I am still at the core a Czech. 🙂

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