Lore surrounds the origins of pretzels, but many sources suggest that they were invented by European monks around 600 A.D. as treats to reward children for saying their prayers. Their shape was meant to represent arms crossed in prayer.
More rumors surround the origin of hard pretzels. The story goes that a baker fell asleep baking soft pretzels, they accidentally over browned, and when he tried them a new snack was born!
According to Reuters.com, over $550 million worth of pretzels are sold in the U.S. each year.
The average U.S. citizen eats two pounds of pretzels a year, but residents of Pennsylvania (or should we call it Pretzelvania) each consume twelve pounds per year.
The world’s largest pretzel, according to Guinness World Records, was baked in El Salvador and weighed 1,728 pounds while being 29 feet long and 13 feet wide.
Making your own pretzels at home? Be comfortable with the kneading process by picking up tips and tricks below: