Is a war over a beloved pastry imminent?
Regional foods are a matter of deep pride. A few years back, a dust-up occurred when Arkansas claimed cheese dip (what is called chile con queso in Texas) as its own. Texans weren’t exactly tickled by the claim. We wonder if a similar kerfuffle will result from the citizens of West, Texas, the center of the Lone Star State’s kolache culture, learning that Verdigre, Nebraska, is the self-appointed “Kolach Capital of the World.”
For those not in the know: The kolache — or “kolach” in the case of Verdigre — is an Eastern European fruit- or cheese-filled pastry associated with Czech immigrants to the United States. Two of the largest such populations settled in Texas and Nebraska. The town of Verdigre, with a population of barely more than 600, has been celebrating its Kolach Days since 1939. West, on the other hand, has a population of more than 3,000, but its big soiree, Westfest, wasn’t established until 1976 and emphasizes Czech heritage over its kolaches. What’s more, West, although known for its kolaches, is merely a stop on what is called the Texas Kolache Trail.
What’s so capital about that?
Photography: Wikicommons, Verdigre.com. Subscribe to the forthcoming monthly Taste of the West e-newsletter below.