|Place of origin||Czechia and Slovakia|
|Region or state||Central Europe|
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. Common filling flavors include tvaroh (a type of cottage cheese), fruit jam, poppy seeds, or povidla (prune jam). In the United States, the letter "s" is often added to the end of the word kolache to form the word "kolaches"; this is a double plural.
Originating as a semisweet pastry from Central Europe, kolache have become popular in parts of the United States. The name originates from Bohemian, originally Old Slavonic word kolo, meaning "circle" or "wheel".
Traditional Czech koláče are used in villages during feasts as a treat or at important events, such as weddings. They are usually small, with a diameter of no more than eight cm and with only one type of filling, sprinkled with sweet crumbs or sugar.
In Moravia, large koláče are popular. In some areas, they have regional names: for example, in Wallachia, they bake so-called frgály, approximately 25 centimeters in diameter. These are made of yeast dough and are most often filled with jam from apples, pears, or plums. In southern and western Bohemia (especially in the Chod region), koláče are also large in diameter and decorated with contrasting ornaments, most often made of povidla, poppy seeds, and cottage cheese. They are served cut into triangles, similar to pizza.
In some parts of the US, especially in Houston, Texas, klobásník, which contains sausage or other meat, is also called kolach, because the same kind of dough is used. This pastry is more closely related to a pig in a blanket, however. In contrast, a Czech koláč is always sweet.[better source needed] Unlike kolache, which came to the United States with Czech immigrants, klobásníky were first made by Czechs who settled in Texas.
Kolache are often associated with small towns in the midwestern United States, where they were introduced by Czech immigrants. 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.
Bujanov (a municipality in the South Bohemian Region of Czechia) holds annual koláč celebrations (Koláčové slavnosti) and a koláč marathon (Koláčový běh).
Several US cities hold annual koláč festival celebrations:
Both Verdigre, Nebraska, and Montgomery, Minnesota, claim to be the "kolache capital of the world". Prague, Nebraska, claims to be known as the home of the world's largest koláč. Both Caldwell, Texas, and West, Texas, claim the title of "Kolache Capital" of the state, and kolache are popular in Central and Eastern Texas. They are part of the Texas Czech Belt, which grew in the 1880s and is full of koláč bakeries.