Despite the Misused Term, Klobásníks Are Indeed Kolaches in Texas (2024)

Kolaches are arguably one of the most popular pastries in Texas. Brought to the Lone Star State by Czech immigrants, the pastries were a weekly mainstay and snack in local households, made with sweet yeast dough with a center filled with fruits typically available in Eastern Europe.

Flash forward to 2023, though, and it’s no secret that the term “kolache” has been misused for quite some time, so much so that the misuse has proliferated and become a norm. Kolache is the plural form of kolach, which indicates one, single pastry despite many Texans still adding an extra “s” to indicate many “kolaches” (plural). In actuality, when most Texans are referring to a “kolache,” they actually mean a single klobásník or klobasnek, a savory pastry similarly adopted from the Czech community. In Houston, these klobásníks can be found at most doughnut shops, stuffed with traditional ingredients like sausage, breakfast items like egg, cheese, and/or bacon; or more creative options like boudin and even curry chicken.

Ordering a “savory kolache,” then, for some, feels like a cultural blunder that needs to be corrected. But, realistically, knowing the more accurate name likely won’t change how many Texans and their favorite restaurants use the term. Though savory “kolaches” are certainly not traditional Czech kolaches, they’re very Texan. Houston’s restaurants have also seemingly bowed out of the discussion, taken sides, or chosen to go with what has become a Texas cultural norm. Kolache Shoppe, for example, separates its pastry menu simply by sweet and savory. Koffeteria is known for its beef pho kolaches that are certainly klobásníks, though not defined as such, and at local chains like Shipley Do-Nuts and Southern Maid, no klobásníks, at least in reference, exist. All of the boudin and bacon, egg, and cheese “kolaches,” however, are indeed savory. Have we completely given up on using the correct term? It certainly feels like it, which can be particularly frustrating for members of the Czech community.

I can’t say it’s not fascinating how terms evolve or expand. The word “meat,” for example, once referred to food in general in Old English, not just animal flesh, according to Somehow people still use the word “thongs” to refer to flip flops and not underwear, and “conversate,” once an improper term for “converse,” is now in the dictionary (and in a Beyonce song, might I add). “Kolache,” similarly, feels like a Texas short-hand, a word that could be added to a book of Lone Star State vernacular with a much-needed asterisk or footnote regarding its history. It’s still important for people to engage with context and name things accurately in a way that acknowledges its cultural origins or resonance. That’s how we learn.

So in Texas, can a klobasnek be a kolache? It’s complicated. According to many Texans, it is. But when you happen to hear someone call a savory pastry that is technically a klobásník a kolach, no need to wince or chide them. A fun history lesson never hurts.

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to include a note about the plural and singular form of kolach/kolache.

Despite the Misused Term, Klobásníks Are Indeed Kolaches in Texas (2024)


Despite the Misused Term, Klobásníks Are Indeed Kolaches in Texas? ›

Klobasneks are much more commonly known as kolaches in Texas, but should not be confused with traditional Czech

In the Czech cuisine, thick soups and many kinds of sauces, both based on stewed or cooked vegetables and meats, often with cream, as well as baked meats with natural sauces (gravies), are popular dishes usually accompanied with beer, especially Pilsner, that Czechs consume the most in the world. › wiki › Czech_cuisine
kolaches, which are also popular and are known by the same name. Klobasneks are similar in style to sausage rolls, but the meat is wrapped in kolache dough.

What is the difference between a kolache and a klobasnek? ›

Another difference between the two snacks is that klobasnek originated in Texas. Kolache, on the other hand, were introduced directly from the homeland. So, next time you're in Texas and are about to order a sausage kolache, use its proper name: a klobasnek. If you spot a sausage in it, it's a klobasnek.

Why do Texans call them kolaches? ›

In actuality, when most Texans are referring to a “kolache,” they actually mean a single klobásník or klobasnek, a savory pastry similarly adopted from the Czech community.

What is kolaches meaning? ›

A kolach, from the Czech and Slovak koláč (plural koláče, diminutive koláčky, meaning "cake/pie") is a type of sweet pastry that holds a portion of fruit surrounded by puffy yeast dough.

What makes a kolache a kolache? ›

Kolaches, a Czech pastry, are made of soft brioche dough and centers filled with creamy sweet cheese plus the slightest hint of lemon.

Are kolaches a Texas thing? ›

Kolaches soon became interwoven with Texas' culinary tapestry, and bakeries popped up throughout Central and West Texas. Over time, bakeries began crafting their own interpretations of the pastry, and the concept of kolaches continues to spark lively debate in Texas.

Where did Texas kolaches come from? ›

Houston's Kolache Factory has actually franchised the kolache, setting up stores as far away as Indianapolis. These tasty morsels arrived in Texas along with the tens of thousands of Czech immigrants who came through the port of Galveston in the 1850s through the early 1900s.

What do Texans call themselves? ›

Texians were Anglo-American residents of Mexican Texas and, later, the Republic of Texas. Today, the term is used to identify early Anglo settlers of Texas, especially those who supported the Texas Revolution. Mexican settlers of that era are referred to as Tejanos, and residents of modern Texas are known as Texans.

What do Texans call pigs in a blanket? ›

The Texanist: Why Do Texans Call a Pig in a Blanket a Kolache? – Texas Monthly.

Where did Klobasneks come from? ›

History of Klobasnek

Klobasniky are Czech American sausage pastries “invented” by late-19th-century Czech immigrants to Texas. They are adapted from a savory food typically eaten at Easter in Central Europe, where they originate from.

Are kolaches just pigs in a blanket? ›

While kolaches are a Czechoslovakian creation that arrived here in Texas in the 1800s along with thousands of Czech immigrants, the sausage-filled impostor is unique to Texas, and actually called a klobasnek (pronounced CLOW-boss-neck).

Do kolaches have pork? ›

Texas Kolaches—savory beef/pork and cheddar sausage is surrounded by fluffy bread dough and baked until browned. Add in grated cheddar and pickled jalapenos to take it to a whole new level.

Are kolaches better than donuts? ›

According to Ferrell, Kolaches are basically healthy donuts. These treats are baked, not fried, and there's not a lot of added sugar, but they have the perfect amount of sweetness.

What is a meat filled kolache called? ›

One may also find a meat (particularly sausage) option in the bakery case, but mercy on your soul if you call it a kolache. It's generally accepted that any meat-filled pastry of this family is in fact a klobasnek.

Are kolaches German or Polish? ›

Czechia, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, and Croatia all made their own versions of kolache, with various spellings (and the Russian kulich can be seen as its Orthodox cousin). Bohemians and Moravians paired the pastry with povidla, a kind of plum butter.

How long can kolaches be left out? ›

If kept at room temperature, kolaches should be eaten within 24 hours. Kolaches may be kept frozen and well wrapped for up to 3 weeks.

Are kolaches German or Czech? ›

Kolaches are a traditional Czech dessert. The name originates from the Czech word “kolo,” which means “circle.” In Czech, a single one is called a kolache, and more than one is called kolaches – though in America, you may hear them called kolaches.

Are kolaches Polish or Czech? ›

In fact, this staple of Central Texan gastronomy actually hails from Czech Republic, where a koláček (the diminutive form of koláč, pronounced kolach; plural koláčky) is a round yeast pastry with a sweet filling in the center!


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