pretzel

Pronunciation: [PREHT-zuhl]

The pretzel can be traced back to the Romans, although the twisted loose knot shape is thought to have been introduced in the early part of the 7th century. The first U.S. commercial pretzel factory was established in 1861 in Lititz, Pennsylvania. There are two main types of pretzel—hard and crisp or soft and chewy (the older of the two forms). The latter is often sold hot with mustard by street vendors from their pretzel carts. Pretzels can be sprinkled with coarse salt or not, and shaped in the form of knots, sticks or rings. Crisp pretzels are available in many sizes, shapes and even flavors (such as rye) in supermarkets.

From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Healthier Homemade Cheese Pretzels

You can find soft pretzels in airports, malls and carnivals nationwide. The problem is, these mass-made pretzels are often loaded with calories and salt.

12 Days of Holiday Gifts: Chocolate Covered Pretzel Sticks

Homemade gifts have special meaning when your kids lend a helping hand. These simple and fun chocolate covered pretzels are a great cold weather activity.

No-Bake Chocolate-Pretzel-Peanut Butter Squares — Most Popular Pin of the Week

Satisfy your peanut butter cup cravings with these simple no-bake bars from Trisha Yearwood.

Nutrition News: The Truth About Pretzels, Mindless Diet Busters and Activated Charcoal Is a Trend

Find out why you should skip the pretzels and how you may be mindlessly messing up your diet. And what’s the deal with activated charcoal?