March 12, 2009
And of course I'm talking about the kolache, the square pastry stuffed with a variety of fillings and perfected by the Czechs.
What was once hard to find outside of Central Europe is now considered a Texas delicacy - West, Texas (that's not West Texas, but West comma Texas) is now known as the kolache capital of the state. However, delicious kolaches are available all over the Lonestar region, including Austin and La Grange. And according to the Wikipedia page for kolaches, several other states claim to be Kolache Ground Zero, such as Montgomery, Minnesota, self-described title as the "Kolache Capital of the World."
Also, a great foodie blog - Homesick Texan - features what looks to be a delicious kolache recipe.
However, as a native Oklahoman, I have to mention that my home state also is known for its kolaches and also hosts an annual kolache festival every year in Prague, Oklahoma. This year's festival is taking place May 1 through May 2nd (you can find more details here).
According to the event's website, the celebration attracts some 25,000 to 30,000 people to the tiny town of 2,500. Women in the community must start backing Kolaches months in advance to prepare for the festival. It is estimated that some 50,000 Kolaches are consumed by the residents and visitors alike during festivities. Take THAT Texas!
The March issue of Gourmet has a great piece on kolaches as well. You can check that out here.
And if you happen to be in Texas, here are the kolache shops you should check out (as mentioned in Gourmet):
3706 N. Lamar Blvd., Austin, TX
The Village Bakery
113 E. Oak St., West, TX
Weikel’s Store and Bakery
2247 W. State Hwy. 71, La Grange, TX