Like many other interestingly shaped bread (ahem croissants), pretzels have both European and religious origins.
Pretzels (from the Latin word “Pretiola” or “little reward”) were reportedly first baked by an Italian monk who played with unleavened dough scraps.
He folded the strips into a sort of heart shape to mimic the crossed arms of a person in prayer and to demonstrate, through interlocking twists, how the concepts of God, Son and Holy Ghost are interrelated.
Later, the pretzel’s knots also came to symbolize the unifying power of marriage.
Originally, the pretzels were handed out as a prize to devout Christian kiddies who successfully memorized their prayers. Now they’re just sold to hungry pretzel fans.
Wetzel’s Pretzels Classic pretzel dipped in butter and baked to crispy perfection
I also don’t know what pretzel-happy St. Bartholomew or that Italian monk would think of extra cheese, cinnamon, chocolate, sesame seed, or sour cream toppings and what these symbolize vis-a-vis the Christian faith. One thing we know, they taste GOOOOD.
Now, Wetzel’s Pretzels has come up with a brilliant twist to the pretzel brand through the Pretzel Dog–basically the same soft but crunchy pretzel dough wrapped around a thick and juicy hotdog.
Wetzel’s Pretzel Dog with Cheese – P85
When my Mom and I had this for dinner the other night, her first reaction was: “It sort of looks obscene, doesn’t it?” Yes, like a really weird caterpillar. Or, in keeping with the pretzel’s Christian beginnings, like an uncircumcised wiener.
But despite its looks, it’s super delicious. The hotdog was one of the juciest and tastiest hotdogs I’ve tried, and it’s complemented by the buttery and crunchy cheese-flecked pretzel wrap.