Texas may not have invented the kolache but it sure as heck perfected it. But, an imitator to the sweet afternoon treat is causing a bit of confusion, and we’d like to help clear the air. So, will the real kolache please stand up?
What is a Kolache?
The stuffed kolache (pronounced koh-lah-chee) originally hails from the Czech Republic and typically comes stuffed with yummy sweets like apricots, prunes, or sweet cheeses. It became a Texas staple, NPR reported, after Czech immigrants settled in the Lone Star State in the 1880s. They came in such high numbers that the area became known as the Texas Czech Belt.
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In recent years the rest of the world has come to learn about the delicious pastry after Adam Rapoport, editor-in-chief of Bon Appetit Magazine, called it the “it” food of 2015 on the Today Show.
“The cool thing about this — sweet or savory,” Rapoport said on the show, listing off ingredients including smoked sausage and ham. However, he was dead wrong about the savory part, and it’s been confusing people ever since.
You see, what Rapaport did was conflate the kolache and the klobasniky (pronounced klo-bah-SNEEK-ee), an equally yummy Texas treat, but one that is wholly different.
What is a Klobasniky?
The klobasniky, Texas Hill Country explained, means “little sausage” and unlike its sweet friend the kolache, it doesn’t come from the Czech Republic.
“Chorizo kolaches are fun, but ultimately if that’s all a non-Texas-Czech audience is presented with, it’s ultimately just going to dilute the traditions,” Dawn Orsak, a true kolache connoisseur and founder of the Tex-Czech food blog Svacina Project, told Saveur. Though we know where the kolache comes from, Orsak explained, the klobasniky’s history is a bit murkier.
“I had a relative who says she started wrapping individual sausages in dough to feed the people who were working on her farm, but Village Bakery out in West, Texas, also lays claim to the Texan klobasnek,” Orsak added. Indeed, The Village Bakery, has the one true claim meaning this is a tried and true Texas classic.
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First invented in 1953, the snack certainly resembles its sweet cousin and uses the same dough recipe, however, it’s typically filled with meats, cheeses and other savory items like jalapeno peppers and more. These are usually served as a breakfast or lunch item while a true kolache is an afternoon tea kind of snack.
There is one upside to all the confusion: Now you get to try both and decide which variety you like more for yourself. Here are eight places to start your search for the perfect kolache and klobasniky in the state.