Move Over Tex-Mex, Here Comes Tex-Czechs

7-Eleven rolls out kolaches exclusively in its Texas convenience stores

DALLAS --7-Eleven Inc. has added kolaches, a savory breakfast favorite of Texans, to its fresh foods menu at its participating stores in the Lone Star State. The Dallas-based convenience retailer is offering two varieties--pork and beef sausage, and pork and beef sausage with jalapeno and cheddar. The suggested retail price for a 4-oz. kolache is $1.69 each, or two for $3.

7-Eleven kolaches (CSP Daily News / Convenience Stores)

Similar to a "pig in a blanket," 7-Eleven's kolaches are heated and served warm from the hot foods case. Foil packaging ensures that the kolaches stay tender and warm. First available in 50 Texas stores as a test, the kolaches are now available in approximately 450 7-Eleven hot foods stores in the greater Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin and San Antonio areas.

With one of the country's largest Czechoslovakian-American populations, Texas has seen the popularity of the Eastern European pastry grow beyond the Central Texas "Czech Belt" communities that introduced them to the state. Once only available in bakeries in Czech strongholds like West and Caldwell (both claim to be the "Kolache Capital of Texas"), the ethnic pastries now can be found in doughnut shops across the state and even standalone kolache shops.

"Kolaches are so popular in Texas, and this new item gives our customers another portable, hot breakfast choice," said Kelly Buckley, 7-Eleven vice president of fresh food innovation. "One challenge was to make sure the kolache remains tender. We worked on several iterations to ensure the dough was soft, tender and light."

In Tex-Czech communities, kolaches only have fruit fillings. A sausage kolache actually is called a klobasnek, a term derived from the Czech word klobase meaning traditional sausage similar to the polish sausage kielbasa. Unlike kolaches, which were brought to the New World by Czech immigrants, the puffy pastry wrapped around sausage and/or cheese was an invention of Texas Czech bakers.

7-Eleven, based in Dallas, operates, franchises or licenses more than 10,300 7-Eleven c-stores in North America. Globally, there are approximately 52,500 7-Eleven c-stores in 16 countries. During 2012, 7-Eleven c-stores generated total worldwide sales close to $84.5 billion.

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