Koláč: how a delicious Czech pastry became a texan speciality.
Non-Texans people probably may be surprised to know that their State has the largest population of Czech-Americans in the United States. Czech immigrants began coming to Texas in the 19th century, where they settled in little farming communities known as tiny Praha, in southeast of Austin. They brought with them, of course, the koláč, an open-faced pastry traditionally prepared with a sweet filling, which is now beloved across all the state.
So, the Czech koláč became “ko-lah-chee” for Texans, and its fillings have evolved over time. Many Texans first experienced traditional kolache, whose flavors include for example poppy seed, prune, apricot, or farmer’s cheese, while driving through the Czech zone, where towns with Czech names and majority Czech-American populations still exists across the state. As the pastry grew in popularity, bakers developed new flavors, like lemon and pineapple, Philly cheese steak or the typic Texan sausage-jalapeño. But despite this, of course, no kolač may contain meat or jalapeño in his original country!
Today, Texans living expatriate lives in cities like New York can find themselves missing the popular pastry. A food from Czech Republic, Eastern Europe, is now, for many Texans, regardless of their ancestry, a delicious taste of home. Koláč, Kolaches in english, are also popular in other American states with a history of Czech immigration, for example in Iowa, Nebraska, or Oklahoma, but traditional versions can be found only on Czech Republic (Ok. Probably i’m biased!)