Home Food Today Is National Pretzel Day

Today Is National Pretzel Day

National Pretzel Day

National Pretzel Day is observed annually on April 26.  A bag of nice crunchy, salty pretzels or a big, warm, soft, cinnamon pretzel is the question of the day.  Either one is an excellent choice.

There are a few different accounts of the origin of the pretzel.  Most people agree that it does have a Christian background, and they were invented by the monks.  According to The History of Science and Technology, in 610 AD, “an Italian monk invents pretzels as a reward to children who learn their prayers.  He calls the strips of baked dough, folded to resemble arms crossing the chest, pretiola (little rewards).”

Another source puts the invention in a monastery in southern France.  The looped pretzel may also be related to a Greek Ring bread from the communion bread used in monasteries a thousand years ago.  In the Catholic Church, pretzels had a religious significance for both ingredients and shape. The loops in pretzel may have served a practical purpose: bakers could hang them on sticks, projecting upwards from a central column, as shown in Job Berckheyde’s (1681) painting.

The Pennsylvania Dutch immigrants introduced pretzels to North America in the 19th century.  At this time, many handmade pretzel bakeries populated central Pennsylvania and their popularity quickly spread.

Faith Based Events

It was in the 20th century that soft pretzels were very popular in areas such as Philadelphia, Chicago and New York. 

  • Today, the average Philadelphian consumes about twelve times as many pretzels as the national average.
  • Pennsylvania is the center of American pretzel production for both hard and soft pretzels, producing 80% of the nation’s pretzels.
  • The annual United States pretzel industry is worth over $550 million.
  • The average American consumes about 1.5 pounds of pretzels per year.
  • Philadelphia opened a privately run “Pretzel Museum” in 1993.
  • Hard pretzels originated in the United States in 1850.

HOW TO OBSERVE

Following are a few “tried and true” recipes for you to enjoy:

Caramel Pretzel Brownies
Buttery Soft Pretzels
Jan’s Pretzel Dogs
Judy’s Strawberry Pretzel Salad

Use #NationalPretzelDay to post on social media.

HISTORY

National Pretzel Day began in 2003 when Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell declared April 26 “National Pretzel Day” to acknowledge the importance of the pretzel to the state’s history and economy.

Whether it’s the ever popular founding of a nation or the lesser known celebration of a popped kernel of corn, we keep you up to date to celebrate. Since January 2013, National Day Calendar has been combing the internet, scouring the archives and peeling back the layers of the year for all the reasons to recognize those special days. Every day has a story and here at National Day Calendar we celebrate the stories as well as the day. From the unique artichoke heart to the questionable explorer, from the humble pie to the honorable veteran, National Day Calendar is here to help you