What Exactly Is a Kolache? This Sweet Czech Pastry Is a Beloved Texas Staple

The Lone Star State loves this pillowy, fruit-filled treat.

If you've ever been to Texas, you know upon arrival that there's business to attend to, and that business is food. Your mind might initially go to the obvious: brisket and tacos. Heck, make it a brisket taco! However, there's one sweet treat that is just as important along any Texas food tour: a kolache. This doughy, fruit-filled pastry is an iconic breakfast staple in the Lone Star State, and no trip is complete without sinking your teeth into a big, pillowy bite—that is, if you can hit a bakery before they sell out.

CROP Lydia Faust with her sweet Kolaches
Wyatt McSpadden

A kolache is a pastry that was brought over to rural Texas by Czech settlers during the mid-to-late 1800s, and you'll find many of the very best kolaches in family-owned bakeries in small towns that have a historic Czech influence. Flavors can include apricot, prune, poppyseed, and sweet cheese, but Texas kolache makers have introduced new nods to tradition with savory pastries filled with sausage, other cheeses, and jalapeños. (These are technically referred to as, "klobasniky.")

Some famous kolaches in Texas come from small-town bakeries like Czech Stop in West, Old Main Street Bakery in Rosenberg, and Hruska's in Ellinger. The only caveat? Plan an early pitstop. They sell out quickly, especially on weekends. Take any flavor you can get your hands on, but apricot, cherry, poppyseed, and peach are crowd-pleasers.

However, some bakeries offer out-of-the-box options like the PB&J kolache from Batch Craft Beer & Kolaches in Austin, Texas.

And of course, make sure to try the savory kolaches that aren't as traditional but are downright delicious. You can even find brisket kolaches if you look hard enough—and you'll never be the same.

Texas kolaches are as much an ode to the deep Czech roots within the Texas Hill Country as they are a beloved breakfast tradition for many native Texans everywhere. If you've never tried one, it might be time for a road trip. Besides these well-known bakeries, you can find your kolache fix in tons of coffee shops and local groceries throughout the state, so really there's no reason not to enjoy the fluffy, fruit-filled pastry. Then, onto the brisket and tacos.

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