Monday, August 13, 2018

History of Pretzel

Pretzel can be traced back to Roman times and they have long been traditional in Alsace and Germany.

Pretzels were developed as an option to satisfy abstinence and fasting laws of the time. Eggs, fat, and milk were forbidden during Lent. So, the remaining ingredients that one could use included water, flour, and salt. A young monk baked the first pretzel —making a Lenten bread of water, flour, and salt, forming the dough into the prayer position of the day, and baking it as soft bread. These first pretzels would have been much like the soft pretzels.

Pretzels are glazed, salted biscuits shaped into long tubes that are often twisted into knots. The word “pretzel” derives from German, but the Dutch may have first introduced pretzels into America. There is a story that in 1652 a settler name Jochem Wessels was arrested for using good flour to make pretzels to sells to the Indians at a time when his white neighbors were eating bran flour.

The first mention of the word pretzel in American print was around 1824. Homemade pretzels were sold by street vendors and in the 1861 the first commercial company was launched by Julius Sturgis in Lititz, Pennsylvania.

In 1933, the Reading Pretzel Machinery Company invented the first machine that could bend pretzels. Before 1933, pretzels were hand twisted or partially twisted using a cracker cutting machine.
History of Pretzel