Presented for your consideration, a portrait of my all time favorite snack. Yes, I am a pretzel addict. I like chips but could pass them up. Candy? I have only a vague interest. I can even pass up chocolate. But I absolutely adore pretzels, a taste acquired, I’m sure, from my Pennsylvania Dutch forbears.
Here are a few interesting tidbits I’ve heard about pretzels. They were supposedly first made by a medieval monk who twisted the dough to resemble the arms crossed across the breast in prayer (that was a typical posture at the time, and you will occasionally see that gesture on old paintings.) These twisted dough snacks were given as a reward to good children who learned their prayers. The word origin variously is “pretiola” (little prayer) preziola (little present) or “brachiola” (little arm). Perhaps the word emerged from a synthesis of the three ideas. The three holes formed in the twist refers to the three parts of the Christian trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit.)
One legend says that a pretzel was used during marriage ceremonies, and was broken and consumed by bride and groom to symbolize their union.
My personal favorite is the Rold Gold brand, but they changed the formula 15 or so years ago and it’s never been quite the same. It’s still better than others to my taste, though.
This picture was painted in my Canson Montval wc journal with tube paints. Actual size of the pretzel itself is about 4.5 in. x 2.5″