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National Pretzel Day

soft pretzels

April 26th is a fun one, National Pretzel Day!!  If you are a salty snacks kind of person this is the day for you.  Pretzels come in so many shapes and sizes and today is the day to celebrate them all.

Thick or thin? Straight or twisted? Crisp and crunchy, or soft? Salted, unsalted? Covered in sesame seeds or caraway seeds? Plain or flavored? The choices can go on and on.

Soft pretzels were brought to America in the 19th century by southern German and Swiss German immigrants. The immigrants became known as the Pennsylvania Dutch and you can still find many handmade pretzel bakeries along the central Pennsylvania countryside.  The pretzel's popularity grew and for as long as most of us can remember they have been available at sporting events, concerts, carnivals and even malls.

Hard pretzels were invented a little later when a Pennsylvania baker forgot about a batch of pretzels in the oven. Though these pretzels seemed inedible because they were dark and hard, they were actually quite delicious! Hard pretzels soon became a wild success across country.

You can definitely celebrate this day by just buying a selection of hard pretzels and munching away, but we suggest taking today to make your own soft pretzels.  Like bagels they are dipped in a boiling water solution, so be careful, but get the kids involved and start baking.

Other ways to celebrate national pretzel day are to make some Chocolate Covered Pretzels (great to prepare early for Shabbat).

Chocolate covered pretzels

Or this yummy, Pretzel Challah from Susie Fishbein or Jamie's Chocolate Pretzel Crust Tart, great to make with all the extra pretzels you bought for your pretzel party.

Chocolate Pretzel Crust Tart

Chocolate Pretzel Crust Tart

Finally, you can consider making Pretzel Crisp Nachos with veggie sausage a great snack or dinner.   These flat pretzels were only invented in 2004 and immediately attracted a slew of fans.