When you see a pretzel, you won’t be mistaken. It has one of the most iconic shapes in the history of humanity or in the culinary world, at least. If you love pretzels and would also love to start a food business, you might want to consider food franchise opportunities in your area.
As you might already know, a pretzel is that knot-shaped pastry that can either be hard or soft and sweet or salty. It can also come with a dip or baked with stuffing inside. Regardless, pretzels are surely an iconic culinary masterpiece that has been enjoyed by millions of people all over the world.
But have you ever wondered how did the world-famous pretzel come about? What’s up with the knot-shaped bread design? And why were pretzels invented in the first place? Here is a brief history of the iconic pastry that is the pretzel.
A brief history of pretzels
The Catholic Church played a significant role in the invention of pretzels that we know of today. Until the present day, Catholics practice abstinence and fasting during the Lenten season. This means not eating any poultry and meat during the said season. Some people do not even eat anything except drink water during Lent.
This is when the pretzel comes in. Pretzels are made from a combination of flour, salt, and water. Since this does not contain any eggs or meat, pretzels became staple food during the Lenten season. As for the recognizable twisty shape, it was said to resemble a child with his hands clasped in prayer.
Meanwhile, it is also said that an Italian monk made the first-ever pretzel back in 610 AD. The pretzels were meant to be given to children who learned their prayers, hence the knot-shaped pastry that was supposed to resemble hands in prayer position. Even if there is no confirmed evidence regarding the true origins of pretzels, it can be safe to say that it did have religious roots.
How it came to the Americas
We might have to thank the Swiss and German immigrants for introducing pretzels to the Americas come the 19th century. In the late 1850s, a Swiss baker named Casper Gloor eventually settled in Indiana and later on became famous in town for his pretzel menu. Soft pretzels were still the norm until the 1850s when bakers began to produce hard pretzels.
Soon, pretzels spread in different parts of the USA, including Pennsylvania and other states. Some are still produced by hand, while others are now produced using a pretzel machine for more efficiency. Nowadays, pretzels are enjoyed by millions of people around the world – whether hard or soft, sweet or savory.
Here to stay
With all that said, pretzels are indeed one of the most popular snacks out there. You can enjoy one as a filling snack or dessert. You can eat it as it is or with a yummy dip. If you have not tried a pretzel, now is the time to eat one!