Sunday, August 09, 2009

Pretzels

Jon and I were eating pretzels one day and he asked me why were they shaped that way? I didn't know the answer, but knew that there had to be a story behind it.
Sure enough, there is a story and it is quite a lovely one.

As early as 610 A.D. monks in northern Italy or Southern France created pretzels out of scraps of dough. They would give the to children who studied their prayers as a way to help the kids remember and reenforce their studies. The twist of the pretzel was to represent the child's arms folded in prayer and the three holes in the pretzel represented the Holy Trinity.
The pretzels were called Pretiola - Latin for little reward and was called Brachiola which means "little arms".
As the pretiola traveled the Alps and into Germany, it became known as the bretzel and then the pretzel. Eventually, pretzels became associated with good luck. St. Bartholomew was shown surrounded by pretzels, representing good fortune, prosperity and spiritual wholeness.

Today, pretzels are the #2 selling snack food, behind potato chips and ahead of popcorn. A $180 million dollar a year industry.

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