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  • Writer's pictureSusan Welsh

Happy National Pretzel Day

The first pretzel to arrive in America is rumored to have come over on the Mayflower, brought by pilgrims to trade with Native Americans in the New World. But the history of the pretzel goes back to somewhere around 610 AD when monks in Northern Italy used scraps of bread-baking dough, forming them to represent arms folded in prayer, and calling them “pretiola”— Latin for “little rewards.”

Closer to home, The Pennsylvania Dutch brought pretzels to America in 1710, and Julius Sturgis established the first commercial pretzel bakery in Lititz, Pennsylvania in 1861. Today, Pennsylvania produces 80% of all the pretzels made in the United States.

Bea Arthur, Linden Hall alumna, leaning on the left post of the gazebo

As kids, our parents once took us on a weekend excursion to Lititz, to visit Linden Hall, where my grandmother had attended finishing school. Fellow alumnae include TV's Maude and Golden Girl Dorothy (Bea Arthur) who graduated in 1941. The school is named for the beautiful Linden, a tree associated with the Germanic goddess Freya. It is believed that you cannot tell a lie under the Linden Tree. Perhaps more oaths should take place beneath these trees?

Since today is National Pretzel Day, I may commemorate it with a

batch of Toffee Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies or maybe I'll grab a handful of Splits by Unique and dip them in some dark chocolate. If you want to incorporate pretzels into your meal-planning tonight, may I suggest Tieghan Gerard’s Baked Crunchy Pretzel Honey Balsamic Chicken?

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