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City Pulse: Kolache, Kolache, you're the best, you put my taste buds to the test

By JR Ortega
Sept. 25, 2013 at 4:25 a.m.

The 19th annual Kolache Fest is from 5 to 11 p.m. Friday and all day Saturday at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Hallettsville. For information, call 361-798-2662.

IF YOU GO

• WHAT: 19th annual Kolache Fest

• WHEN: 5-11 p.m. Friday and all day Saturday

• WHERE: 321 U.S. Highway 77, Knights of Columbus Hall, Hallettsville

• FOR INFORMATION: For a full list of the hour-by-hour events, visit hallettsville.com or call the Hallettsville Chamber of Commerce at 361-798-2662.

Kolache.

On simple, delectable word that instantly makes my mouth water like I were one of Pavlov's dogs.

Growing up in the Rio Grande Valley, I had always called those baked goods "empanadas." And while they are almost the same, I learned quickly they are not.

It was not until my first experience at Hallettsville's two-day Kolache Fest that I learned what a real kolache was.

The event is happening again Friday and Saturday, and I'm really thinking of heading north to buy myself at least two dozen of my many favorites.

I had been living in Victoria about six months when I went to cover the event, highlighting its kolache-eating contest, which I highly recommend you watch.

Believe it or not, it was probably one of the toughest assignments of my life.

Never in my life had I been so willing to want to break my code of ethics and gobble down all the food everyone was so willingly offering me. (Of course, after I was done reporting, I bought a handful and ate them on the trip back.)

My favorite is definitely cottage cheese. I've always had this thing for cottage cheese. I can put it on almost anything.

But if you're not a cottage cheese fan, there are all types.

Fruit lovers can get them filled with pineapple, apple, apricot and anything else you could ever imagine.

You meat lovers will be happy to find all types of meat packed tight in your kolache - from sausage, jalapeno and cheese to even ground beef and cheese.

While I'm not sure all these types will be offered at Kolache Fest, it just goes to show you the range of what you can do with a little bread, hunger and imagination.

It's not only about the kolaches though. I learned fast how important this filling treat was for Hallettsville and the surrounding region - an area prideful and entrenched in its Czech heritage.

And while you're enjoying those kolaches, you can check out live music from the Czechaholics and the Chris Rybak band.

There is even a parade, animal shows, arts and craft booths and competitions ranging from "42" dominos to a washer and horseshoe tournament.

But don't forget your focal point - the kolache.

Head out to Hallettsville and be prepared to be full.

A warning and some advice: If you're from out of town, you may want to take nap before heading back home - you'll be in a kolache coma.

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