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Food and Wine Dictionary


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 pretzel    [PREHT-zuhl]

The pretzel can be traced back to the Romans, although the twisted loose knot shape is thought to have been introduced in the early part of the 7th century. The first U.S. commercial pretzel factory was established in 1861 in Lititz, Pennsylvania. There are two main types of pretzel — hard and crisp or soft and chewy (the older of the two forms). The latter is often sold hot with mustard by street vendors from their pretzel carts. Pretzels can be sprinkled with coarse salt or not, and shaped in the form of knots, sticks or rings. Crisp pretzels are available in many sizes, shapes and even flavors (such as rye) in supermarkets.

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Material adapted from the The New Food Lover's Companion

© Copyright Barron's Educational Services, Inc. 1995 based on
THE FOOD LOVER'S COMPANION, 2nd edition, by Sharon Tyler Herbst.


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