The Philadelphia soft pretzel finds its roots in the German community. The Germans were some of the original settlers of the area. They brought their language and their love of food.
Time Required: 5 minutes
- The best pretzels are found from street vendors, small "mom and pop" shops or directly from the factory.
- You need to make a quick judgment on the hygiene of the pretzel seller. You may want to avoid those fellows who sell at busy intersections.
- A good pretzel is soft and chewy, not hard and difficult to bite.
- Most good pretzels are baked in a slab in which a number of pretzels are baked together instead of cooked individually.
- A good pretzel has just the right amount of coarse salt that has not melted in the heat of the sun.
- If a pretzel is wrapped in plastic it is probably going to be stale, soggy or too hard. The best packaging is a paper bag.
- If the pretzels look moist, dont buy them. Moisture is caused by the extraction of water by the salt. This indicates that the pretzel has been sitting around too long.
- Look for a golden brown color and a "fresh" appearance. If the pretzel looks good, it probably is.
- If the pretzel looks too salty ask for one with less salt or simply scrape off the excess salt with your finger.
- Most folks enjoy their pretzels with a coating of yellow mustard. Most vendors will have a squeeze bottle nearby.
- A good soft pretzel can be a highlight of a visit to Philadelphia.
- Don't buy the first pretzel you find. Wait till you find the perfect pretzel.
- Eat soft pretzels while they are fresh. The longer they sit, the harder they get.