The Trendy Czech Snack You Can Find At American Gas Stations

Czech culture might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Texas, but this group of immigrants is one of many that found a home in the Lone Star State. According to The University of Texas at San Antonio, many people belonging to the Czech ethnic group were attracted to the affordable prices of land in central Texas. These Slavic people came from Bohemia, Moravia, and Silesia around 1850, long before the establishment of Czechoslovakia. With them, they brought language, traditions, music, customs, and of course, food.

The kolache, pronounced "ko-lah-chee," is one of the most iconic Czech pastries, notes NPR. It is made with a soft yeasted dough full of different fillings. Traditional fillings included fresh cheese, poppy seeds, and prunes. Later, sweet kolaches evolved to have fillings like blueberry, cream cheese, and strawberry. Savory kolaches, more accurately called klobasniky, took on a distinctly Texan flair, and are often filled with sausage, cheese, and jalapeño.

Kolaches are gas station mainstays

Kolaches became synonymous with roadside bites as many of the descendants of these Czech families opened gas stations and convenience stores where they sold their traditional pastries to folks passing through (via Yahoo!). In that same tradition, these iconic pastries can be purchased at an iconic Texas gas station — Buc-ee's

Buc-ee's gas stations, known for their sprawling square footage, spotless restrooms, and beaver nuggets, are a Texas road trip rite of passage, though the chain has now expanded to Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, South Carolina, and Georgia. At these one-stop shops you can find all your travel-stop essentials and a wide variety of snacks. Kolaches are one of the foods you have to try at Buc-ee's. They serve classic flavors like peach, cream cheese, and jalapeno cheddar sausage, but also have some fun Texan takes like pecan pie and green chile sausage (via Thrillist). They even have a fan favorite cajun boudin-filled kolache.

Now this Czech pastry can be found across the country. Chris Svetlik, a Texan of Czech descent, opened a Republic Kolache in Washington D.C. to serve these treats to homesick Texans (via NPR). Turns out, everyone loves them. Maybe the name is unfamiliar to some, but Svetlik wisely says, "It is the time-honored tradition of dough with stuff in it, which is quite familiar." What's not to love?