If you're not from the Czech Republic or Texas, chances are you've never heard of kolaches. And if you've never been to those parts of the Lone Star state called the Czech Belt, then you probably have no idea the pastry is bigger than bagels in Manhattan. The Czechs who settled in central and south-central Texas (not to mention parts of Nebraska, Oklahoma, Minnesota and Iowa) brought this Old World treat to the New World in the 1800s, and it has evolved since then into something, well, truly American. There are now kolaches stuffed with hot dogs as well as pepperoni; there are chicken enchilada kolaches and even a Philly cheesesteak version. At Czech Belt rest stops, kolaches are as ubiquitous as six-packs. At churches, there are kolache bake-offs, and the Texas towns of both Caldwell and West lay claim to being the kolache... More >>>