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Where Do Pretzels Come From?

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Around 610 A.D. in Southern France or Northern Italy a monk was preparing unleavened bread for Lent, the Christian period of fasting and penitence before Easter. He fixed it into a knot shape and voila, the pretzel was born. It is believed the inspiration for the knot shape was an homage to Christians of the day who prayed with their arms folded across their chests. Children especially enjoyed this new creation and were given it for their morning prayers. Pretzel's popularity soon spread and they became a symbol of good luck, long life and prosperity. The American Pretzel Legend has it that the first American pretzel came with the pilgrims on the Mayflower and that the pilgrims sold the pretzel to the Indians - perhaps it was even enjoyed at the first Thanksgiving. Most people associate Pennsylvania with pretzels and assume that's where they originated, though this is not the case. Americans have, however, given the pretzel their own unique touch; the American pretzel is crispy and ... more
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