A Picture of Resilience: The Czech Café That Popularized Eating Covid-19

Not even desserts are safe from the dark Czech sense of humor!

Olga Budnik, chef at The Černá Madona or Black Madonna restaurant in Prague, got the idea for a coronavirus cake earlier in the year.

“I found a photo of the virus on the internet, and I figured out in detail how to make the dessert – how to make the spikes, what the color would be like, and I prepared it all,” she told Reuters.

The dessert is slightly smaller than a tennis ball, with a chocolate crust and dusted with cocoa butter spray. The virus’s “spikes” are made of white chocolate and dried raspberries.

Inside there is pistachio filling with raspberry puree and raspberries in the center.

from The Daily Sabah

Sounds epidemiologically delicious!

The cake was released in the fall and has seen more than 100 orders a day. All article coverage of the trend is delightfully punning it as a “viral dessert.”

Read also: Getting Tested for Coronavirus as an Expat

Who wouldn’t want to try this?

What I find interesting about this story is not just the humor, not just the consumerism, not just a great way to capitalize on current human condition to bring some business back to a flailing restaurant industry.

It’s the resilience.

People hate covid-19 (to use a strong and general word on purpose). Objectively, they “hate” the lock-downs, the masks, the cancelled holiday trips, the effect on the economy, the inability to see their families. So why would they want to eat it in sweet form?

I think this says a lot about people’s psychology. It’s scary, but if we do a thought experiment for just a minute, we will realize that beneath our “hate” is fear: Fear that there is so little we can control. Fear that we don’t understand the present, or don’t know what the future holds.

This silly little cake is a little way of getting that power back. As we know well, mindset is powerful and occasionally, the placebo has people reporting that they feel better.

Read also: Unique Challenges of Lock-Down for Expats

Those on the front lines at the Black Madonna agree.

Vojtech Hermanek is the restaurant’s marketing manager. He said the coronavirus crisis has caused “a huge drop” in business for Black Madonna and other Prague eateries.

He added, “But at the same time it was a chance to bring out the coronavirus cake which is a symbol…showing that not everything is lost.”

Olga Budnik said she already looking ahead to the next product – a COVID-19 vaccination-themed sweet that tastes like “lots of lime with a bit of alcohol.”

from VOAnews

We recently got through our first-ever pandemic Halloween, and a lot of people weren’t sure what costume they wanted to wear. There was a big debate on whether it’s appropriate to dress like Covid-19. Though many said we should keep in mind that many people have had covid deaths in their circle and it adds unnecessary insult to injury (and I agree), but for a second, I want to entertain the reasons behind why someone might make this choice.

Tackling the virus head-on through an imitation – whether cake or costume – can both traumatize and subjugate. Yet parodying or making fun of things can be a very effective way for people to reclaim confidence in the face of something they can’t control.

What do you think?

How are people showing resilience in the face of this microscopic conquerer in your corner of the world?


Want to support inspiring expat-driven content? Consider a one-time donation that will go towards my corona cake next time I’m in Prague 😉

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