Pigs In A Blanket Didn't Start Out As A Super Bowl Party Appetizer

Pigs in a blanket — hot dogs wrapped in flaky dough — are not just delicious; they're dangerously easy appetizers to make. If you use a refrigerated dough, a quick wait for them to bake in 375-degree oven is the hardest labor you'll need to endure.

It's hard to say how many of these savory snacks Americans eat annually, but last year, they spent over $8.3 billion on hot dogs and sausages, and Pillsbury says it sells about 5 packages of its signature crescent rolls every second. And when it comes time for our favorite snacking holidays like the Super Bowl, pigs in a blanket are among the most popular choices.

One of the first times that the term "pigs in a blanket" showed up in writing was in a 1957 Betty Crocker cookbook for kids — which seems like appropriate level of Americana for this nostalgic snack. But the recipe's true origin is more complicated: Even if General Mills' Betty Crocker brand named the dish, it didn't invent it.

Different legends say that pigs in a blanket originated centuries ago in England or in China or at a truck stop on Route 66. But in fact, the dish we now know as pigs in a blanket is likely most similar to a classic Czech snack called kolaches.

How did Czech kolaches bring us the classic pigs in a blanket?

At first glance, kolaches seem completely different from pigs in a blanket: While the American version uses pre-made ingredients, bakers in the Czech Republic traditionally stuff pockets of fresh yeast dough with a variety of homemade fillings. Back in Europe, many kolaches were sweet, made with farmer's cheese and fruits like apricot.

Starting in the late 1800s, though, thousands of Czech people immigrated to the U.S. — and mostly settled in Texas. Still today, Texas is home to the States' largest Czech population. Along with their language and culture, these immigrants brought their food, including kolaches. Soon, the kolache was given a Texas personality, with bakers stuffing them with fillings like sausage, cheese, and jalapeno.

Although still called kolaches, these pastries are more similar to the Czech klobasnek — a sausage roll common at Texas gas stations like Buc-Ees that bears a significant resemblance to pigs in a blanket. And even though Texans today seem to love chocolate chip cookies as a popular Super Bowl food, we might have Czech emigrants to the Lone Star State to thank for one of our favorite apps.