Most people would agree that there is something extra special about a pretzel! While, at first, it might seem like an average snack made of bread dough, it is so much more than that. The rich bready smell, the burst of salt in the mouth as the first bite is taken, and in some situations, the delicious flavor of cheese or another sauce that it can be dipped into.
Or, on the other end of the spectrum, there are those people who prefer the crunch of the kind of pretzels that can be purchased in a bag at the store. These crunchy little, salty snacks can be an amazing addition to any snack mix. Some might even say that they are the very foundation of sports gatherings everywhere.
Whatever the personal preference is, National Pretzel Day exemplifies this delicious treat in all of its forms.
So grab a favorite variety, sit back and munch down on one of the most delightful of snack-based days! Get ready for National Pretzel Day!
History of National Pretzel Day
Like all food-related holidays, starting with a little history of where the food came from is a great way to get to know the background of the day. The story of the pretzel is particularly fun, especially as it shares a theme with candy canes, which is another well-known favorite! (In fact, Candy Cane Pretzels, dusted with crushed candy canes–instead of salt–and glazed with frosting, are a great wintertime treat!).
Legend has it that, at some time during the Middle Ages, Catholic Monks were trying to figure out what to do with little bits of dough they had that were leftover after baking their loaves of bread. They didn’t want to be wasteful. So, clever as they were, they came up with what is now known as the pretzel. The method included folding the dough into the shape of praying hands, or a knot that represented the Holy Trinity, depending on who happens to be telling the story at the moment.
Since that time, the pretzel has evolved into a much-loved treat that has seen many uses and varieties. Some of the more common ones include representing marriage (where the term ‘tying the knot’ came into prominence) and also into modern-day as a popular addition to concession stands at carnivals and events of all kinds.
The origin of the hard pretzel is a bit more recent and is among the ranks of other great accidental discoveries like the potato chip! Apparently, when a pretzel is left in the oven for a longer period of time, it will bake into a crisp and crunchy bit of deliciousness. The story goes that, when this happened, a baker was so pleasantly surprised with the result that he took the time to perfect the recipe. Now these crispy little treats are an extremely popular snack!
Inspired and delicious, National Pretzel Day comes as the celebration of all things related to this delectable snack!
How to Celebrate National Pretzel Day
Celebrating pretzels can be a load of fun! Try these ideas:
Grab a Free or Discounted Pretzel
In celebration of this important event, many companies and stores celebrate this holiday by offering free or discounted pretzels to their customers. After all, sometimes the best way to get someone started on a delicious and addictive snack is to give them the first one free!
Check out these Pretzel shops to see what might be on offer this year:
- Auntie Anne’s Pretzels. Considered to be the “world’s largest hand-rolled soft pretzel franchise, this Lancaster, PA chain has a lot to offer! In 2020, stores celebrated by giving away 25,000 free soft pretzels to frontline workers. In past years, people who participate with the company’s Pretzel Perks app have been offered Buy One Get One Free soft pretzels. Not only do they have almost 1800 stores in the US, they also reach at least 25 other countries such as Russia, the United Kingdom, South Korea, Chile, Mexico, Egypt and the Bahamas.
- Pretzelmaker. In previous years, customers who have the Pretzelmaker Rewards app qualify for a free pretzel on National Pretzel Day! More than 280 stores throughout the US as well as Guam, Canada, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
- Wetzel’s Pretzels. Although this chain doesn’t seem to give out free pretzels, they in the past offered a coupon good for a free beverage with the purchase of a soft pretzel. Stores can be found in more than 300 locations around the world, including 28 US states and five other countries.
Learn How to Make Pretzels at Home
For those who may be feeling particularly adventurous, it’s always an option to try making pretzels at home. You can use one of the hundreds of recipes that can be found online. For an easier time of it, some grocery stores sell the large version of frozen pretzels that can be baked in the oven at home and then served warm.
Or, take the middle road and whip up a delicious snack mix using premade hard pretzels, seasonings, and other snack mixes.
Don’t forget to keep it interesting by testing out a variety of sauces for dipping pretzels. Try out cheese, chocolate, caramel, honey mustard, marinara sauce, cream cheese or even fruit sauces.
Start Snacking with Crunchy Pretzels
It only makes sense to spend National Pretzel Day buying up whatever is the favorite variety of pretzel and enjoying it as a snack. Try famous brands such as Rold Gold or Snyder’s of Hanover. Or grab a few bags from a local producer.
Add small pretzel twists to Chex cereal with some nuts and spices, then bake it into a superb snack mix. Or eat them straight out of the bag, dipping into peanut butter, hummus, cream cheese or ranch dressing.
However you do it, National Pretzel Day is a great time to celebrate this wonderful treat with a wonderful history!