How did the pretzel get its shape?

How did the pretzel get its shape?

Seen our pink sea container shop fronts? They’re pretty hard to miss. When we first opened up shop in Northbridge we wanted to be sure to stand out and be as unique as the pretzels we make each day.

Ever wondered how the pretzel got its signature symmetrical knot? Just as us Aussies claim to have dibs on the lamington over our New Zealand neighbours, there are a number of theories to the origins of the pretzel, but the most recognised go a little something like this.

Way back in 610 AD monks (it is disputed both Italian and French) would use pretzels to reward young children for saying their prayers. The distinct shape of the folded bread dough was said to resemble the crossed arms of a child praying, and was given the name ‘pretiola’ meaning ‘little rewards’.

The Christian origins in Italy and France are well supported and it is thought that it later spread to Germany and Austria. Another theory claims the pretzel was born in Germany and it’s shape represents the letter B for the word ‘bretzel’. It is also suggested the word bretzel stems from the Latin word brachium meaning arm, which also supports the monk’s crossed arm theory.

According to some German sources, pretzels were also considered to bring luck, prosperity and spiritual wholeness. In particular the expression “tying the knot” is said to be born from the pretzel shape, signifying everlasting love.

Taking the pretzel origins theory to another level, one of the crazier stories out there claim the shape evolved from a baker with a bad drinking habit. He was sentenced to jail, but was given a way out if he could bake a small cake that would allow the sun to shine through 3 times. Therefore explaining why there are 3 holes in a pretzel.

And the reason why the original pretzel is covered in salt? Well it was purely coincidental. Back in the 1800s, a royal baker to the Kingdom of Württemberg accidentally dropped his pretzel mix into a saline solution, which he mistook for sugar water. The Duke loved it so much that it became the new standard recipe.

Regardless of how the pretzel got its shape, I’m sure you can agree they are one tasty snackable! And you can find our unique pink sea containers serving delicious soft pretzels daily at Pretzel Whitfords from 10am and Pretzel Northbridge from 11am.