Today is National Pretzel Day! It happens to be my favorite snack and my favorite brand is Snyder's Of Hanover, especially the big and thick sourdough pretzels. As you munch away to celebrate, enjoy some fun facts on pretzels.
In the 1,400 years since the pretzel was invented, bakers have come up with a wide variety of shapes and flavors. The history of this adaptable snack shows its versatility.
* The world can thank a frustrated teacher with leftover bread dough for the invention of the soft pretzel. In A.D. 610, while baking bread, an Italian monk decided to create a treat to motivate his distracted catechism students. He rolled out ropes of dough, twisted them to resemble hands crossed on the chest in prayer, and baked them. The monk christened his snacks pretiola, Latin for "little reward." Parents who tasted their children's classroom treats referred to them as brachiola, or "little arms." When pretiola arrived in Germany, they were called bretzels.