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Cream cheese blueberries Koláče

The history of Koláče

Soft and fluffy buns filled with delicious cream cheese and fresh blueberries.

Czech buns, Koláče, also known as kolache, are a delicious and traditional pastry rooted in the Bohemia region, a historic part of the present-day Czech Republic. These sweet buns, filled with a variety of ingredients that can include jams, sweet cheeses, and poppy seeds, have been an integral part of Czech culture and cuisine for centuries. Their origin dates back to medieval times when rural communities in Bohemia began to develop their own recipes and baking techniques.

The name «Koláče» comes from the Czech term «kolo», meaning «wheel» or «circle». This name is quite descriptive, as koláče are traditionally round, resembling the shape of a small wheel. Originally, these buns were prepared for special celebrations such as weddings and religious festivals. Koláče symbolised abundance and prosperity, and their preparation was a communal event that brought families and neighbours together.

During the 19th century, when many Czechs emigrated to the United States in search of new opportunities, they brought their culinary traditions with them. Koláče became especially popular in Czech-American communities in Texas and other Midwestern states. In these places, the traditional recipe was adapted with locally available ingredients, and koláče became a beloved part of regional cuisine. Today, some festivals in Texas celebrate koláče as an important part of their cultural heritage.

Cream cheese blueberries Koláče

The filling of koláče varies depending on the region and personal preferences. In Bohemia, the most traditional fillings include plum jam, ground poppy seeds, and tvaroh, a type of fresh cheese similar to ricotta. In Moravia, another Czech region, it is common to find koláče filled with apricot jam or a mixture of cottage cheese and raisins. This diversity of fillings showcases the richness of Czech culinary tradition and its ability to incorporate various flavours and textures.

The basic recipe for koláče includes a soft and fluffy dough made from flour, milk, yeast, sugar, and butter. Once the dough has risen, small round portions are formed, the centre is slightly flattened for the filling, and they are baked until golden and fragrant. The final touch might be a dusting of icing sugar, adding a sweet contrast to the flavours of the filling.

Today, koláče remain a vital part of Czech culture, enjoyed both on holidays and in everyday life. Over the centuries, these buns have maintained their popularity and continue to be a symbol of the rich culinary heritage of the Czech Republic. By preparing and sharing koláče, both Czechs and food lovers around the world honour a tradition that celebrates family, community, and the pleasure of enjoying good homemade food.