April 26th is National Pretzel Day!
Today is a pretty big deal. It’s National Pretzel Day, which has got to fall in my top ten days of the year, because pretzels are one of my favorite things in the world. I love pretzels of all types. From big soft pretzels to those Snyder’s Pretzel Rods, give me pretzel thins, pretzel sticks, or mini pretzels any day, and I’ll never turn down a good peanut butter pretzel. And don’t even get me started on honey mustard pretzels or yogurt covered pretzels. Chocolate covered pretzels are a no-brainer. Have you ever tried those Take-5 candy bars? Oh, there are pretzels in those. One reason I know that I am a total pretzel freak is that whenever there are pretzels in a mix of other snacks (Chex Mix, Munchies, etc.), I pick the pretzels out and eat them first. Yes, I am borderline obsessed, but I am not ashamed.
What about pretzels make them so great, you might ask? Maybe it’s that the traditional pretzel shape is similar to that of a heart. Or maybe it is that salty taste. Perhaps the crunch of a hard pretzel or the tender chewy bite of a soft pretzel. There is just so much to love and so much variety that it’s hard to imagine a more perfect snack.
Pretzels originated in Europe in the Early Middle Ages, most likely within monasteries. The traditional pretzel is made of baked bread from dough formed into a unique knot shape. This shape supposedly represents hands clasped in prayer, and the distinctive “pretzel loop” was what defined the baked snack as a pretzel. In German, breze is the word for pretzel, and it refers to this specific traditional form, so the idea of “pretzel rods” or “pretzel sticks” is technically incorrect. No matter what you choose to call them, pretzels are a delicious treat, and today we celebrate.
How to Celebrate
Bake some tasty pretzels! This is the perfect opportunity to try out a recipe, and I found a few online that look pretty darn easy. All you really need are five basic ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry (yeast, sugar, salt, flour, water). Simple and delicious. Make sure to pick out what toppings you would like and have those handy for when your fresh, warm pretzel comes out of the oven. I’m thinking maybe mustard, or some melted cheese… sprinkle some sea salt on top… YUM!
Videos of the Day
Stanley of The Office shares my affinity for pretzels. “I wake up every morning in a bed that’s too small, drive my daughter to a school that’s too expensive and then I go to work to a job for which I get paid too little. But on Pretzel Day? Well, I like Pretzel Day.” Pretzels make everything a little better, don’t they, Stanley?