From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Larger koláč, called "frgál", typical of the Moravian Wallachia area
Larger koláč, called "frgál", typical of the Moravian Wallachia area
TypeSweet bread
Place of originCzech lands and Slovakia
Region or stateCentral Europe
Kolache preparation in bakery

A kolach (also spelled kolache, kolace or kolacky /kəˈlɑːi, -ki/,[1] from the Czech and Slovak plural koláče, sg. koláč) is a type of pastry that holds a portion of fruit surrounded by puffy dough.

Originating as a semisweet wedding dessert from Central Europe and later a breakfast item in South London, they have become popular in parts of the United States. The name originates from the Czech, and originally Old Slavonic word kolo meaning "circle", "wheel". A klobásník, which contains sausage or other meat, is often thought to be a variation of the kolach (koláče); however, most Czechs hold the distinction that kolache are only filled with non-meat fillings. Unlike kolache, which came to the United States with Czech immigrants, klobásníky were first made by Czechs who settled in Texas.[citation needed]

Kolaches are often associated with Cedar Rapids and Pocahontas in Iowa where they were introduced by Czech immigrants in the 1870s. They are served at church suppers and on holidays but also as an everyday comfort food. Recipes are usually passed down with some including spices like mace or nutmeg. They can be filled with a combination of prune, apricot, cream cheese, poppy seed or assorted other fillings.[2]


For Christmas kolach three braided loaves of varied sizes are stacked representing the Trinity.[3] The bread's circular shape symbolizes eternity. When served as part of Christmas dinner, a candle is placed in the center of the intricately braided loaves, but the bread can't be eaten until Christmas Day because observance of the Advent fasting requires abstaining from eggs until midnight on Christmas Eve.[4]


For funerals, the loaves are brought to church for Divine Liturgy to be blessed and then served in slices with fresh fruit as a symbol of the good the deceased did in their lifetime. Exact customs vary but as an example the three loaves are decorated with three apples, three oranges, and grapes, with a candle placed in the center. Sometimes a small individual loaf is given.[3]

Kolache celebrations[edit]

Several cities, including Tabor, South Dakota;Verdigre, Nebraska; Wilber, Nebraska; Prague, Nebraska; Caldwell, Texas;[5] East Bernard, Texas; Crosby, Texas; Hallettsville, Texas; Prague, Oklahoma; St. Ludmila's Catholic Church in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; and Kewaunee, Wisconsin[6] hold annual Kolache Festival celebrations.

Montgomery, Minnesota, is the "Kolacky capital of the world"[7] and holds an annual festival known as Kolacky Days. Verdigre, Nebraska, stakes the same claim with their Kolach Days.[8] Prague, Nebraska, claims to be known as the home of the world's largest kolache. Both Caldwell and West, Texas, claim the title of "Kolache Capital" of the state[9] and kolaches, in general, are extremely popular in Central and Eastern Texas.[10][11] There is even a Texas Czech Belt[12] which grew in the 1880s and is full of kolache bakeries.

Haugen, Wisconsin is the Kolache Capital of Wisconsin.[citation needed] The village is a Bohemian settlement that celebrates its Czech Heritage during an annual festival (Haugen Fun Days).[citation needed] Kolaches are a staple of the village's festival with Kolache sales, bake-offs, and tastings.[citation needed] Kolache may be found at Czech-American festivals in other communities in the United States.[citation needed]

It was the sweet chosen to represent the Czech Republic in the Café Europe initiative of the Austrian presidency of the European Union, on Europe Day 2007.[citation needed]

Many people in the United States refer to the sausage filled Czech pastries as kolaches, but these are klobasniky which were invented by Texas families.[citation needed]

Related dishes[edit]

Kolachy cookies in the United States
Photo of New York-style strawberry kolach.
New York-style strawberry kolach.

A related dish is a klobasnek, which is popular in central and southeast Texas. It often uses similar bread but is filled with a link of sausage or ground sausage. Some people also refer to these as kolache, but they are more closely related to a "pig in a blanket".[13] They may also contain ham, cheese, jalapeño, eggs and bacon/sausage, potato, etc., and resemble a "pig in a blanket". Czech settlers created klobasniky after they immigrated to Texas.[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "kolacky". Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House. Retrieved 2016-01-22.
  2. ^ Roadfood : The Coast to Coast Guide to 500 of the Best Barbeque Joints, Lobster Shacks, Ice Cream Parlors, Highway Diners and Much, Much More.
  3. ^ a b Look and Feel: Studies In Texture, Appearance and Incidental Characteristics of Food. p. 150.
  4. ^ "Sweet Treats around the World: An Encyclopedia of Food and Culture: An Encyclopedia of Food and Culture". p. 346. ABC-CLIO.
  5. ^ "Michele Casady, "Rain and kolaches? Czech"". Bryan-College Station Eagle, September 13, 2009. Archived from the original on September 15, 2009. Retrieved October 24, 2009. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help); Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  6. ^ http://agriculturalheritage.org/?page_id=336
  7. ^ "Montgomery, Minnesota City Information". US-MN: ePodunk. Retrieved 2012-02-20.
  8. ^ "Village of Verdigre". Village of Verdigre. Archived from the original on 5 September 2010. Retrieved 16 March 2012.
  9. ^ https://www.tsl.state.tx.us/ref/abouttx/capitals.html
  10. ^ Dao 2017-04-10T10:00:00-04:00, Dan Q. "Kolaches Are the Texas Breakfast Staple Worth a Trip to the Lone Star State". SAVEUR. Retrieved 2019-04-17.
  11. ^ "Where to find the best kolaches in Texas". ABC13 Houston. 2018-08-16. Retrieved 2019-04-17.
  12. ^ "The Czech Pastry That Took Texas By Storm, And Keeps Gaining Strength". NPR.org. Retrieved 2019-04-17.
  13. ^ "Czech, Please: 2000s Archive : gourmet.com". Prod.gourmet.com. 2011-08-01. Archived from the original on 2012-03-17. Retrieved 2012-02-20. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  14. ^ Siegel, Jeff (January 2014). "The Kolach Trail". Texas Co-Op Power: 11.

External links[edit]