If you're not from Texas — or a few other choice towns across America — you may have never had the pleasure of eating a kolache. A Central European pastry iconic across the Lone Star State, the kolache is prized for its soft, pillowy dough and its versatility: kolache fillings range from the sweet (apricot, prunes, and poppy seeds) to the savory (sausages). And some fillings, like cheese, even possess qualities of both.
Texans owe the enjoyment of this fluffy yeast roll to the number of Czechs who immigrated to the state in the 1800s, and while there's nothing more authentic than enjoying a kolache in one of the state's few remaining Czech towns, city dwellers can savor kolaches on the go at any of the state's ubiquitous Kolache Factory stores. The Kolache Factory, a breakfast chain somewhat akin to a Texas kolache version of, say, Dunkin' Donuts, is also known for its unconventional kolache fillings, such as chocolate cream cheese, sausage and gravy, ranchero, and even Philly cheesesteak.