April is National Soft Pretzel Month!

As a native New Yorker, it comes as no surprise to me that New York is the state that consumes the most soft pretzels.  But what was a surprise to me was the ritualistic significance of the soft pretzel.

For instance, over a millennia ago, an Italian monk formed leftover dough in a way that simulated a child’s arms folded in prayer.  It was called the “pretiola,” or little reward.

The etymology of “tying the knot” actually came from a 17th century tradition of couples wishing for good luck by breaking off a piece of a pretzel and eating it.

And continuing the interesting history of the soft pretzel, over 200 years ago, German children would wear a pretzel around their neck like a necklace at the beginning of a new year.  Tradition dictated this would bring good luck, prosperity and health.

To learn more about this twisted snack, J & J Snack Foods Corp created this fun infographic  in honor of National Soft Pretzel Month!

Pretzel infographic