The monks offered the warm, doughy bribe to children who had memorized their Bible verses and prayers. The monks called it a Pretiola, Latin for little reward. From there, the pretzel transformed into the Italian word, Brachiola, which means little arms.
The Pretiola journeyed beyond the French and Italian wine regions, hiked the Alps, wandered through Austria, and crossed into Germany, where it became known as the Bretzel or Pretzel.
In medieval times merchants traveling to the Frankfurt Fair risked being robbed by bandits. In order to guard the tradesmen, the towns' people would ride out, greet the vendors and offer them pewter pitchers of wine and loads of crisp dough on their spears, called Geleit-pretzels.
The Whimsical Pretzel shape worked its way into the culture not only as a reward but as a symbol of Good Luck and prosperity.
Probably two of the most fascinating things about the pretzel is it was served on Easter with 2 hard boiled eggs and hidden around the farms, for the kids to find. This very likely was the forerunner of the Easter egg hunt. Weddings in Europe for a time used the tradition of the bride and groom tugging at a pretzel like a wishbone, the larger piece assured the spouses fulfillment of their wishes.I'm so frustrated with the Pretzels sold in the shopping malls. They are rocky, expensive & too plain. I know that Aunty Anne's Pretzels are different. But I can't find them here in Australia. Even I checked the website but no franchise in Aussie.
So, I just peep my Baking Book again & decide to make some. It's not difficult to make pretzels. You just have to be patient when waiting for the dough rising.
I like sugar & cinnamon toppings on pretzel. My hubby likes the savoury one more, so I sprinkle salt & garlic powder instead.