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The History of Pretzels

The History of Pretzels

At Fatty Sundays, we've literally fallen in love with pretzels – chocolate dipped ones, to be exact. Over 7 years ago, our founders, Lauren & Ali, were so obsessed of making these sweet and salty treats that they simply could not keep the family secret to themselves any longer. And while we're pleased to be pumping out delicious gourmet chocolate covered pretzels in over 15 flavors, the original twisty, crunchy creations have been around for quite some time. So long, in fact, that we thought we'd pay a little tribute to our favorite bread-based treats with a brief history of the pretzel. 

The Myth vs. The History

While the common origin story of pretzels places their genesis in a 7th-century Italian monastery, it turns out there's no real evidence documenting the creation of "pretiolas," or little rewards, as treats for children who had learned their prayers. Instead, the first documented mention of pretzels is likely a late 12th-century illustration in the Hortus deliciarum, an illuminated encyclopedia. Even before then, the folded pretzel shape appeared as a symbol for baker's guilds in Germany, making it likely that pretzels came into popularity well before the 12th century.

Holy Beginnings

From early in their existence, pretzels were imbued with religious significance. Some histories tell that pretzels were invented as a food specifically for Lent, and they were often hidden on Easter morning for children to find as an early form of Easter egg. The folded shape of the pretzel is thought by some to resemble hands folded prayer, while the three holes in the pretzel are thought to resemble the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Then to Now

In any case, pretzels were a common food in many areas of Europe throughout the Middle Ages, and they spread to America when German immigrants brought them across the Atlantic. These immigrants largely settled in what is now Pennsylvania, and as a result, upwards of 80% of pretzels made in America today come from Pennsylvania! Throughout this period, pretzels only existed in the "soft" variety: they were a baked good of soft bread, similar to many other baked breads and pastries. The hard pretzel variety didn't arise until Julius Sturgis created the very first commercial pretzel-making facility in – you guessed it – Pennsylvania. There, he created hard pretzels because they would last better in transport, allowing him to sell his creations in distant stores and keep them on the shelves longer. From there, pretzels and America were a love story gone right. Today, pretzels are one of the best-selling salty snacks in the country – and we're working to make them one of the best-selling sweet treats, as well!  We're modernizing and re-inventing everyone's favorite sweet and salty treat with innovative flavors and toppings. We've perfected our pretzels taste and look and think we've done a pretty delicious job of carrying on the pretzel legacy! You'll need to taste some to understand! Pretzels have experienced something of a reimagining in recent years, with new varieties coming out with ever-more innovative toppings, and we've worked hard to perfect the sweet, chocolate-dipped pretzel. We think we've done a pretty delicious job of carrying on the legacy of the pretzel – but, of course, you have to taste it to really understand!

Order Your Gourmet Chocolate Dipped Pretzel Rods Today

Pretzels have come a long way since their early days, and we're proud to be part of such a long-standing snack tradition.If you are interested in indulging yourself with today's best chocolate covered pretzels, we'd be thrilled to help! Take a look at our complete line of products to see everything we offer. Or, if you have any questions about Fatty Sundays or our products, feel free to call us at 1.646.762.2555 or reach out to us at our contact page. We can't wait to hear from you, and we hope to see you back at this blog for more tips, info, and recipes on all things sweet & salty!



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