Mail Bag: We Want More Oblatky !!

Oblatky Iron

June 21, 2017

Allan Stevo

A new reader and newsletter subscriber writes in asking for information on finding year round oblatky / oplatky and on tips for making his own at home:

Great to find you. Just spent the last several days in Chicago visiting Czech relatives. Disappointed to see so many Czech restaurants closed now. Ended up at Warsaw Polish Buffet. Anywhere you know my wife can buy a Oplatky Griddle Iron at a reasonable price? Also where the original Oplatky can be bought year round? Seams that most places only make it at Christmas time. We got the original in Czechoslovakia freshly made daily warm in chocolate and Vanilla and it was wonderful.
Thank you for your time.

-Larry

Larry,
I totally agree with you. It’s almost like every time you turn around in Chicago another classic middle European Restaurant is closing down. How often I hear my elders long for the old days when they could get delicious meals that were practically as good as anyone in the family could make. It takes a lot of skill to run a kitchen like that and it seems like the tight margins of the restaurant marketplace aren’t supportive of such a large number of places like that. Thankfully a few good ones still exist.

As for your question on oblatky, finding those Czech made spa town style oblatky in the US is nearly impossible. Oblatky has a long and established history around the region. The kind you describe with a filling between the wafers is a tradition common to the Czech spa towns, a special treat that can traditionally be found in those places – perhaps akin to saltwater taffy as a specialty found on a trip to an eastern seaboard town with a boardwalk, fresh squeaky cheese curd on a trip through Wisconsin, scrapple as part of a visit into the lands of the “Pennsylvania Dutch,” or finding a fresh baked Kringle in places that Scandinavians settled.

Unfortunately we were unable to find an online store for the original Czech product that would ship the oblatky to the US. Here are some links for the Czech producers of oblatky. It may be possible to contact them directly and ask to special order them. Kolonáda is one of the most popular companies that produces traditional oblatky, widely sold across the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Karlovarské oplatky are produced in the city of Karlove Vary, well known for its famous spas. Luhačovice is also a popular spa town with its own oblatky producing company.

What we were able to find though is a company in Sacramento that uses the same traditional recipe to bake the oplatky. You can select different flavors and have them shipped right to your doorstep. Their website and online store can be found here.

As for the issue of the oplatky iron, some of the irons can be found in online stores such as eBay or Amazon under the name of “Pizzelle Irons.” Pizzelle is the Italian word for oplatky. There are irons with different designs available and the price range varies from $30 to over $100.

We’d love to hear how that process goes for you. And if you decide it’s time for America to have another year round oblatky maker or importer – write us so that we can share the details of your new company in these pages. Thank you for reading and thank you for writing in Larry.

Allan Stevo writes on Slovak culture at www.52inSk.com. He is from Chicago and spends most of his time traveling Europe and writing. You can find more of his writing at www.AllanStevo.com. If you enjoyed this post, please use the buttons below to like it on Facebook or to share it with your friends by email. You can sign up for emails on Slovak culture from 52 Weeks in Slovakia by clicking here.

Photo credit: PeritoBurrito

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