Pretzels are considered as a comfort food in the U.S. They come in two forms — hard and soft. The former is sold prepacked in groceries and convenience stores, while the latter is made fresh on the stands at all hours.
If you’re considering opening a food business, a soft pretzel franchise is an interesting venture. For one, soft pretzels have a good following because they’re popular all over the world. Second, you can be as creative as you want in making them since there are hundreds of flavors and variants available.
How pretzels came about
According to History.com, pretzels started in Europe around 610 A.D. They were first made by monks and given to children as a reward for learning their prayers or saying them correctly. The Church also made soft pretzels more popular because it was the ideal food to consume during the Lenten fast when meat, dairy, and eggs were prohibited.
As pretzels are made with water, salt, and flour, they were also affordable and easy to make. This made it the go-to food for the poor and the working class. During the Middle Ages, the pretzel became known as a symbol of good luck and prosperity.
They were used in wedding ceremonies in Switzerland in the 1600s and this is said to be where the expression “tying the knot” came about. In Germany, children wore pretzel necklaces during the New Year to symbolize luck and prosperity.
Coming to America
Soft pretzels were said to have arrived in America via the Mayflower. German immigrants also brought the practice of eating pretzels to the U.S. when they started arriving in Pennsylvania in 1710. By 1861, Julius Sturgis founded the first commercial pretzel bakery in America. The rest, as they say, is history.
Soft pretzels are considered a blank canvas and you can dress them up to be sweet or savory depending on the ingredients and flavors you mix in the dough or top them with. It’s an interesting business venture to get into because apart from the money, you also get to see your customers’ faces light up when you hand over their pretzels.