By Julia Howard
Sweet Prophecy, one of the farmers’ market’s newest vendors, invites you on a culinary journey to the Wallachia region of the eastern Czech Republic. Wallachia is famous for its smoked sausages, slivovitz (plum brandy), and frgál cakes (a round cake with yeast-based dough and various toppings). It’s a unique area tucked into the Carpathian Mountains, where people speak in a traditional dialect.
Janek Palat is Sweet Prophecy’s main baker. His wife Katya helps to prepare smaller items, and his father-in-law Viktor specializes in apple pastries and strudels. Each week, they bring freshly baked confections traditional to Central and Eastern Europe; frgál cakes, apple strudels, apple sharlotkas, zucchini muffins, various cookies, and meringues (with gluten-free options, too).
Frgál cakes attract attention amongst Sweet Prophecy’s display of European confections. The round, leveled cakes are layered with combinations of brilliant red currants, blueberries, and plums. Sweeter options of frgál cakes are topped with a poppy seed mixture, farmers’ cheese, and pears. Flavors dance with hints of fresh herbs that pair with the fruit.
“We hope this tradition of frgál cake will be recognized beyond the Czech Republic,” says Palat. “We think it’s a great and versatile dessert perfect for breakfast with coffee or tea or as a dessert at a large gathering. It has a beautiful rustic look, and there are choices from tart to sweet for varying tastes,” he adds.
Palat uses a 200-year-old recipe that has been held in his family for generations, and he and his wife Katya were trained to perfect the cake while living in Wallachia.
“We had done baking before this and thought about starting a food business with an experience for some time,” explains Palat.
When the couple moved to Saratoga Springs three years ago, they began regularly baking and cooking Czech foods to share with friends – reigniting their love of preparing and sharing traditional foods close to their hearts.
In addition to the Saratoga Farmers’ Market, Sweet Prophecy plans to attend more pop-up markets this spring and summer and expand its offerings to smoked meats and savory dishes from Palat’s home country. Follow them for updates and recipes on Instagram @sweetprophecybakery. Their Facebook page is coming soon!
The Saratoga Farmers’ Market is open on Saturdays from 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. in the Wilton Mall Food Court. Find us online at www.saratogafarmersmarket.org, where you can sign up for our weekly newsletter, and follow us on Facebook and Instagram @SaratogaFarmersMarket.