Take a chance on the cinnamon kolach
Kolaches in Utah
There are some generous foods that deliver a fulfilling sensory experience by their scent, without even a taste. Warm cinnamon is one of them. The smell of it wafting through a home, or in this case down a street in Provo, Utah, is a signal that guides the nose.
I follow the cinnamon trail, like a pointer dog that’s found a target, and end up at the door of Hruska’s Kolaches, a tiny shop that does one thing and does it well, and that is to make kolaches, a breakfast pastry originating in central Europe.
The small shop is run by three young siblings who use their great-grandmother’s dough recipe. The buns are baked in small batches multiple times a day and everything is made from scratch, from the dough to the fillings. If you don’t get to the shop early enough in the day, there might be no kolaches. And if you make it to this corner of Utah, you want there to be kolaches.
The glory of kolaches is in the pillow-soft pastry. The bakery is small, so the scent of fresh-baked dough fills your lungs and envelops you when you walk in, almost enough to satisfy the senses. But who are we kidding—the smell is a tease, so let’s get to the main event. I get close to the display case and scan for my pastry.
Savory options abound: brisket, eggs, cheese, pulled pork, vegetables. The fruit kolaches are glossy and bright with berries. But they felt familiar, too much like a Danish to my eye. I looked at the cinnamon kolach, a humble circle of golden dough and gob of cream. A sparkle of cinnamon peeked out from under the cream. The cinnamon kolach needed someone to take a chance on it.
I sat down at one of the few tables outside the shop and looked at the people around me holding the same brown paper bag as I was, pulling kolaches out. Had I made the right choice with cinnamon?
Yes, I had. The cinnamon kolach is like your favorite cinnamon roll, but deconstructed and more impactful. First you taste the buttery dough, then the gob of sweetened cream cheese, and finally the warm cinnamon your nose knew was there all along.
I finished my breakfast and headed down the street, the inviting smell of kolaches fading for me, but for unsuspecting pedestrians rounding the corner towards Hruska’s, they would just be getting acquainted.
434 W. Center Street
Provo, UT 84601