First on First: The Pretzel


One of the earliest depictions of a pretzel, from the 12th century manuscript Hortus deliciarum

While we don’t know the exact origins of the pretzel, legend has it that the delectable snack was created in Italy. As the story goes, around 610 A.D., an Italian monk wanted to reward his students for their good work. He baked soft, squishy bread with a twisted shape that resembled crossed arms (the traditional posture for prayer). The monk called them “pretiolas” or “little rewards.” Others referred to the baked dough as “bracella,” which means “little arms” in Latin. The treat caught on and quickly became popular across Europe. Germans called the morsel “bretzel,” and brought the pretzel to America.


Sources: History: The Pretzel, History of the Soft Pretzel

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