Today is National Soft Pretzel Day, and you know what that means - free soft pretzels.
Philly Soft Pretzel Factory will be giving one free pretzel per customer today as celebration for the event.
Here are your local Philly Soft Pretzel Factory locations:
- , 330 W. Main St., Lansdale
- , 499 Horsham Road, Horsham
- Philly Soft Pretzel Factory, 205 E. Butler Ave. (Route 202), Chalfont
Former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell proclaimed today "National Pretzel Day" in 2003, according to Reuters.
The pretzel and Philadelphia go hand-in-hand. However, the origin of the pretzel has its roots in France and Italy during the Lenten season, according to HubPages.
In fact, there is religious symbolism associated with the pretzel.
According to CatholicCulture.org, the Catholic Church considered pretzels to have a religious significance, especially during the season of Lent, when eggs, lard and dairy products were not allowed to be eaten. When Easter arrived, pretzels were hidden just as eggs are hidden today.
Look at a pretzel: the shape resembles the crossing of one's arms over one's chest as if in prayer.
The Italian word for this Lenten bread was “pretioli” which means “little rewards” or “pretoria” which means “reward," according to the article.
Pennsylvania is the birthplace of hard pretzels. The Sturgis Bakery in Lititz, Lancaster County, was the first commercial hard pretzel manufacturer in 1861, according to Snyder's of Hanover.
Twist your head around these other pretzel facts:
- In 1963, the largest soft pretzel of its time was made by Joseph Nacchio of the Federal Pretzel Baking Co, according to KitchenProject.com. It weighed 40 pounds and was five feet across. The pretzel was made for the film "It's a Mad Mad Mad World."
- The first machine-produced stamped cut soft pretzel was made at the Federal Pretzel Baking Co. in Philadelphia.
- In 1993, the first pretzel museum opened in Philadelphia