Bramborák is a Czech potato pancake made from thinly grated potatoes, eggs and flour, seasoned with garlic, marjoram and salt, and fried in lard. It is eaten warm, either by itself or with sauerkraut or smoked pork.
Potato pancakes in general are commonly associated with Central and Eastern European cuisines: Austrian, Belarussian, Czech, German, Hungarian, Polish, Ukrainian and Yiddish. In Austria and Germany they are called Kartoffelpuffer, Erdäpfelpuffer, Reibekuchen, Reiberdatschi, Reibeplätzchen or Kartoffelpfannkuchen. In Czech, they are called bramborák, cmunda, kramflek, strouhanec, sejkory, báč, bramborka, křapáč, křápanec, naľešnik, prskanec, smrazky, stryk, škrample or vošouch. In Russian and Ukrainian they are called деруни (deruny) or драники (draniki). Only Yiddish seems to have one simple, universal name: latkes.
Typical Austrian, Czech or German potato pancakes have traditionally been fried in lard, although frying in vegetable oil does seem to extend one's life. Latkes are fried in olive oil to commemorate the miracle of the Holy Temple of Jerusalem.
Typical potato pancakes are salty. However, there are sweet varieties such as those made in the German Rheinland usually eaten with apple sauce, or in Poland (Placek ziemniaczany) where it is eaten coated with sugar or topped with cream.
In a broader sense, these potato pancakes are related to American and English hash browns, Austrian and Swiss Rösti, French Galettes de pommes de terre and Spanish Tortilla de patatas.
Last updated: October 12, 2010