|Region or state||Central Europe|
A kolach (also spelled kolache, kolace or kolacky /, - /, from the Czech and Slovak plural koláče, sg. koláč) is a type of pastry that holds a portion of fruit, surrounded by a puffy cushion of supple dough.
Originating as a semisweet wedding dessert from Central Europe, 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". The word kolache may also be used to describe a meat filled pastry (esp. in some parts of Texas). However, this probably refers to a klobasnek. A klobasnek 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, klobasniky were first made by Czechs that settled in Texas.
Several cities, including Verdigre, Nebraska; Wilber, Nebraska; Prague, Nebraska; Caldwell, Texas; East Bernard, Texas; Crosby, Texas; Hallettsville, Texas; Prague, Oklahoma; St. Ludmila's Catholic Church in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; and Kewaunee, Wisconsin hold annual Kolache Festival celebrations.
Montgomery, Minnesota, is the "Kolacky capital of the world" and holds an annual festival known as Kolacky Days. Verdigre, Nebraska, stakes the same claim with their Kolach Days. 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.
Haugen, Wisconsin is the Kolache Capital of Wisconsin. The village is a Bohemian settlement that celebrates its Czech Heritage during an annual festival (Haugen Fun Days). Kolaches are a staple of the village's festival with Kolache sales, bake-offs, and tastings.
Still, other communities in the United States hold Czech-American festivals, where kolache may be found.
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 accurately referred to as a "pig in a blanket". 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.
- Kalach: East Slavic, Southern Slavic and Romanian bread
- Kołacz: Polish pastry
- Koloocheh: Iranian pastry
- Vatrushka: East Slavic pastry
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