Wednesday, December 21, 2011

One of my favorite holiday traditions is gathering with all of my sisters and mother and cooking Christmas dinner. I'm Hispanic, so of course our meal consists of a few non-traditional side-dishes, tamales being one of my favorites. But there are plenty of traditional items as well, and one that is quickly becoming a family favorite is homemade pretzels! I picked up this Vintage Pretzel Recipe when traveling to St. Louis last September for a writer's conference. I'd like to share it with you in hopes that it will become something you share with your family for many years to come.

Vintage Pretzels

Originally named “pretiola”, which came from the Latin meaning little reward, pretzels are considered one of the oldest snack foods in history. Documentation revealed French monks first baked pretzels as rewards for children learning their prayers as early as 610 A.D. Other historians trace the hard, brittle glazed pretzel to Germany where the dough was shaped in the form of the letter B, which stood for Bretzel. It was the immigrants from these countries who are credited with bringing the pretzel to America.

While pretzels were baked in America since colonial times, the first successful American pretzel bakery opened in Lititz, Pennsylvania in 1861. There, the hard pretzel had its beginnings when a baker’s apprentice dozed off while baking soft pretzels. The result was a crisp, crunchy snack. However it was the soft pretzel that was favored in the Midwest, which has been sold on the streets of Saint Louis since the late 19th century.

*Information borrowed from Levee Mercantile at the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri. To learn more about the Levee Mercantile or the Jefferson National Parks Association, visit them at

Merry Christmas from The Borrowed Book!


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