Published April 26, 2013
If you're thinking about what snack to cook up today, no need to get all in a twist.
National Pretzel Day is Friday. Even though you think it may take some genuine German blood coursing through your veins to pull off a feat like making pretzels at home, it's surprisingly easy.
But before you try, first a little history. Leave it the monks to perfect two of the best things in the culinary world: beer and pretzels. Legend has it that the first pretzel came from an Italian monastery monastery in around AD 610, when monks folded scraps of dough to resemble a child's arms folded in prayer.
By the 16th century, the Germans started their own tradition of eating pretzels during Good Friday dinner. Then, pretzels were made only with flour and water, and instead of eggs, they were hidden during Easter festivities.
Germans took those traditions to the U.S. when they immigrated a more than a century ago, and today it's believed that Americas eat 1 1/2 to 2 pounds of pretzels a year. Not surprisingly, Philadelphians eat way more than that, and in 1983 years ago that Pennsylvania Rep. Robert S. Walker declared a commemorative day for pretzels. In 2003, Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell had to remind people how good pretzels are when the holiday was re-declared.
So in commemoration of this auspicious day, make a pretzel.