Yesterday, we tried kolache for the first time. An all vegan trailer, Bistro Vonish, in East Austin makes fresh batches of both sweet and savory kolache. For those wondering what a kolach is — this is the first time we’ve been introduced to it as well — it is a type of pastry originating from the Czech and Slovak. The pastry holds a dollop of fruit, rimmed by a puffy pillow of dough, and this is the sweet version of a kolach. These yummy pastries have become popular in certain parts of the US, particularly Texas. Other states include, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, and Minnesota — in cities where Czech settlers have migrated to. As for Texas, Caldwell and West Texas claim the title of “Kolache Capital” of the state. And although kolach is not as popular here in Austin as those parts of Texas, it still has a presence, enough so that a couple of vegan joints like Bistro Vonish and Capital City Bakery are baking up these tasty kolache.
As for the savory kolach, the ones found at both Bistro Vonish and Capital City Bakery are similar to a related dish called klobasnek, which are very popular in central and southeast Texas. Instead of the rimmed puffy dough, the dough is filled with a link or sausage or ham, and with cheese and jalapeno. Other concoctions may contain bacon and potato as well. The one we got from Bistro Vonish was filled with spicy seitan, “cheese” and jalapeno. Craig, the owner and chef, rotates the flavor of his kolache every few days so you never know what you’ll get. And the version at Capital City Bakery is always filled with vegan ham and cheese and jalapeno.
We got the kolache fresh out of the oven, but saved it for later because we were scheduled to work out first. We shared the savory (klobasnek) version as an appetizer for dinner, and wow, it was so delicious. We both agreed any non-vegan eating it would guarantee to love it, and most likely wouldn’t know it was vegan, either.
Later in the evening as a sweet snack, I enjoyed the sweet kolach, which was blueberry, and boy, was I in heaven! It was so scrumptious I wish I had another one. Healthwise, probably a good thing I had just one though. 😉