A Twisted Story

On this day in 2003, the Governor of Pennsylvania, Ed Rendell, (former Mayor of Philadelphia) declared April 26th to be “National Pretzel Day” to acknowledge the importance of the pretzel to the state’s history and economy.

Pennsylvania has a rich history of pretzel making beginning in 1710 when Germans brought them to the area. Julius Sturgis made the first “intentionally” hard pretzel and would later own the first commercial bakery in Lititz, PA in the heart of Lancaster County. 80% of the pretzels sold nationwide are still made in Pennsylvania. Being Philadelphia born and raised, soft pretzels are one of my favorite snacks especially when they are paired with a “wooder” (water) ice!

Reportedly, Italian monks created these delectable treats as  pretiola or “little rewards” to give to children when they learned their prayers, thus the shape of the pretzel looks like crossed arms in prayer. But if you live anywhere in the Philadelphia vicinty, the pretzel of choice is a tight figure 8 shape – no large loops!

Philadelphia (Philly) Soft Pretzel
Traditional Soft Pretzel

If you would like to learn more about “National Preztel Day” check out the video below. But I want to leave you with a couple of fun facts about pretzels. In 1861, pretzel making was the second highest paying job next to tobacco. The average American eats about two pounds of pretzels a year; Philadelphians eat twelve times as many as anybody else in America – some say they average twenty pounds a year! I know I do my share to pad those statistics.

8 thoughts on “A Twisted Story

  1. Love Warm soft pretzels! Went to Philly Pretzel Factory this morning. Bought one 5 pack for us and my neighbor with 3 girls.
    They were thrilled.
    Best memories were in Holy Cross School.
    Row 1, Seat 1. The pretzel bag was delivered in the hallway outside of the classroom every morning around 10:00. I got to bring the bag of warm pretzels to the Sister/teacher for distribution. Best responsibility ever. Gained a lot of weight. No mustard available in those days. Five cents a piece in 1954.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pretzels come in o many shapes, sizes, and flavors. Personally, I like the hard pretzels. The pretzel squares make good scoops for ice cream. Pretzel rolls, although not real pretzels in my book, work well for sandwiches. The list goes on.

    Liked by 1 person

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