When I saw that today was National Pretzel Day, I thought, "Perfect! I'm going to the mall - I can get a soft pretzel there. Which is even more perfect, since April is National Soft Pretzel Month!" Unfortunately, I did not get my pretzel. The two pretzel places at the mall I went to today were out of the pretzels I like (plain or jalapeno). I will have to be satisfied with attempting soft pretzels this weekend. The LA Times tells me they're easy to make, so I should be able to do it, right?
Pretzels are pretty awesome. Pretzels come in so many shapes (sticks, rods, twisted), can be whole wheat or not, sometimes come in sizes as small as bite-size and sizes as large as bigger-than-your-head, can be stuffed with peanut butter or cheese or dipped in chocolate and rolled in nuts or candy. Kim & Scott's Gourmet Pretzels even come in a gluten-free version. Pretzels are a pretty versatile food- the Cheesecake Factory even uses pretzels in one of its spiked shakes. The crunchy pretzels are popular bar snacks, but some bars are starting to serve the soft pretzels as well.
Snyder's of Hanover, well known for their pretzels, gives us the history of pretzels. Auntie Anne's has a video for those who buy the Auntie Anne's pretzel making kit. I wish I had known about the video a couple of years ago, when somehow the pretzels my family attemped using the kit came out...odd.
Here's hoping my next attempt at pretzels works out!