Learn about the infamous pretzel!

Who created the pretzel?

The pretzel got it's shaped by a monk. A monk is a male member of a group that puts his life towards a religious service. The pretzel was created sometime around 610 A.D. in Italy. The monk would fold the strips of dough into a shape. The pretzel was most likely originated in Asia because that's where the monks were.

Why the crossed shape?

The reason the pretzel has a crossed look to it is because it represents something. The shape represents a child crossing their arms in a prayer. The crossed like pattern is often called a "pretzel loop". But in Medieval Europe, the 3 holes meant Holy Trinity-Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Eventually, the pretzel shape symbolized undying love. Around 1614 in Switzerland, royal couples would use pretzels in their wedding ceremonies. But in current day USA, people now use wishbones.

How is the pretzel made?

A pretzel is made by starting with a dough made from scratch. It then gets coated with a washing soda or a lye treatment. This gives the pretzel the "skin" flavor through the Maillard reaction. A Maillard reaction is a type of chemical reaction with amino acids and reducing sugars.

Evolution of the Pretzel (Auntie Anne)

610 A.D- Were made by Italian monks. The monks would reward their students with the pretzel.

1510-Invaders from Turkey began to attack Vienna, Austria. They dug tunnels and the 'pretzel bakers' heard the attack and soon began to sound alarms to fight off the attackers.

Mid-1500-The pretzel got a meaning; 3 holes stood for the Christian trinity of "Father, Son, and Holy Spirit."

1600s-Hard pretzels were accidentally made by a baker falling asleep and leaving the dough in the furnace for "too long."

1620-The pretzels began to make their way to America on the Mayflower. Rumor has it, Pilgrims had traded pretzels with Native Americans, in return for different things.

1800s-Some immigrants from the European area came to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania and brought a pretzel recipe.

1861-In Lititz, the very first hard pretzel factory (American) opened. The makers would roll, bake, and salt pretzels by hand.

1988-Auntie Anne pretzels was organized by Anne Beiler when she bought a farmer's market in Downingtown, Pennslyvania.

1999-Auntie Anne created a kit where you can make pretzels at home.

TODAY-Auntie Anne has rolled over 1.8 billion pretzels in the past 26 years.