The Invention of the Pretzel

In 610AD a kindly monk in Aosta, Italy decided that the good children of the town who properly learned their prayers deserved some kind of treat. He wandered into the monastry kitchen. There he spied a scrap of yeast dough that resembled the folded arms of a praying child (they used to pray with crossed arms back then…). He sprinkled the dough with some salt, a symbol of purity, and baked it. The creation which he dubbed "Pretiola" or "little reward" was a big hit. Thus Pretzels were born!

Source: Good Eats S11E2 Pretzel Logic ~ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZR_evWiDbY&feature=PlayList&p=D4A76EAC372FAFCA&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=2

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