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Also known as kolacky, kolache is a pastry that is made with a fruit or cheese filling. Generally round in appearance, an indented section in the middle of the pastry houses the filling, which is normally visible on the surface of the kolachke. Kolache is considered a favorite Czech pastry, as well as one of the more popular Polish pastry offerings.
The popularity of kolache is very broad. In the United States, cities in both Oklahoma and Texas hold annual kolache festivals. Montgomery, Minnesota claims to be the kolache capital of the world. Contests to come up with the most unique and tasty fillings for this simple pastry are one of the traditions at these celebrations, with contestants trying all sorts of combinations that often involve fruit, different blends of cheeses, and even some interesting variations on spices and herbs.
Kolache is considered to be an ideal choice among the many different types of breakfast pastries, owing to the light and flavorful blend of flavors. Many people also enjoy kolache as a dessert following the mid-day or evening meal. In some cultures, kolache is also considered a nice alternative to other forms of sweets with afternoon tea or coffee.
Variations of kolache are found in many places around the world. While most of the recipes used to create kolache center on providing a sweet for occasional enjoyment, more and more people are taking the general principle of the pastry and finding ways to include kolache in other aspects of the daily diet.
Along with the traditional fruit or cheese filling, it is also possible to prepare kolache with a number of other fillings. Jams and jellies can be used as the filling in some cases. For a taste that is less sweet, it is possible to use a blend of meat, tomatoes, and spices as the filling for the bread pastry. Persons who enjoy the shell of kolache but want something more filling than a sweet center can also choose to create a mixture of vegetables to serve as the filler for the dish. When prepared in this manner, kolache makes the transition from an after dinner sweet to becoming a side dish or even the entrée for a light and healthy meal.
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