In 610 A.D., an imaginative monk formed left over dough to represent children’s arms folded in prayer. It was called “Pretiola,” Latin for “little reward.” Over time, the word “Pretiola” evolved to become “Pretzel.” Today, people of all ages enjoy Kim & Scott’s unique handmade twists, made with the same magical spirit started back in 610 A.D.
Our obsession with pretzels, traditional and stuffed, as led us down a path of pretzel knowledge. Check out these twisted facts we’ve learned along the way:
- The 12th century illustration Hortus deliciarum from Alsace may be the earliest depiction of a pretzel, shown at a banquet with Queen Esther and King Ahasuerus.
- In the mid 1500’s, the pretzel became a traditional food consumed during Lent and on Good Friday, as Catholics were forbidden to eat eggs, dairy or lard.
- A 1559 page from the prayer-book of Catherine of Cleves depicts St. Bartholomew surrounded by pretzels, which were thought to bring good fortune, prosperity and spiritual wholeness to those who ate them.
- In the early 1800’s German children tied pretzels on a string around their necks at the beginning of a new year for prosperity, health and good fortune.
- In the 17th century pretzels were known as a marriage knot. During the wedding ceremony, the couple getting married would wish upon a pretzel and break it just as we do the turkey wishbone, and then they ate it to signify their oneness. There are also accounts of the parents of the bride and groom twisting a pretzel knot as a symbol of the joining of the two families.
- Two high schools in Illinois use the pretzel as their mascot: New Berlin and Freeport. Freeport also bills itself as Pretzel City USA and sponsors a yearly Pretzel City Festival featuring entertainment, races, pretzel recipe contests and Pretzel Prince and Princess Pageants.
Enjoy these twisted facts, brought to you by the largest Pretzelphytes of them all! Which is your favorite fact?