Edibles & Potables: Bothered by the smell of cooking food? Then don’t live near a restaurant

If beauty is in the eye of the beholder — if one man’s ceiling is another man’s floor — how exactly might zoning laws be written to split the difference fairly?

During the waning days of Prague’s communist era, and for a few years shortly thereafter, I always made it a point when visiting to cross the Charles Bridge to the oldest part of the city on the castle side of the Vltava, and begin sniffing my way to a certain hospoda (a tavern, or pub, usually specializing in beer).

At the time I had this route memorized, although the name of the establishment now eludes me. The point is that one needed only get somewhat close to it, especially in summer, when the smell of its pivní sýr (beer cheese) would guide seekers like me home.

Shall we posit “pungent” and “aggressive” as suitable adjectives to describe the olfactory sensation?

The beer cheese was aromatic and delicious, fitting hand in glove with the typically wonderful Czech pilsner-style beer. Ingredients included stinky mild cheese (Olomoucké tvarůžky, Maršovský, or Jarošovský, among others), paprika, caraway seeds, maybe a bit of onion and garlic, with everything mashed together to make the cheese spreadable on rye bread with...Read more