Did you hear about the time a pretzel solved a mystery? Yeah, that was an unexpected twist.
April 26 is National Pretzel Day, so of course we’re going to take a deep dive into the history of this nearly perfect snack.
The history of pretzels is about as clear as dough, but it’s still pretty fascinating.
One story says that an Italian monk in the 600s rewarded students who learned their prayers with leftover bread twisted into the shape of hands in prayer, and called them “pretiolas,” Latin for “little rewards.”
They’ve also served as good luck charms and symbols of the unending love between newlyweds.
In 17th Century Germany pretzels were so popular kids there would wear pretzel necklaces on New Year’s Day.
Today pretzels are most closely associated with Germany; German immigrants brought the pretzel to the United States, though not all of the amazing variations they have caught on here.
Pretzels can stand in for bread as part of stuffed sandwiches, they can be baked while covered in Emmental cheese, or they can serve as the key ingredient in southwestern Germany’s Palatinate region: pretzel soup.
We’ve done ok here though.
In Maryland, there’s a pretzel-themed restaurant.
Pretzel and Pizza Creations operates two locations.
Their menus include classic pretzels, stuffed pretzels, pretzel sandwiches, pretzel calzones.
And if you can’t come in person, they’ll ship a pretzel baking kit to where you are.
The Religious History of Pretzels (Food and Wine)
History of Pretzels (The Spruce Eats)
The Pretzel: A Twisted History (History.com)