by Ava Morlier
Happy September! Today’s dish will be celebrating the rich culture and flavors of Oktoberfest: Soft pretzels!
Brought to America by German immigrants, the soft pretzel carries great German history with it. Used as a symbol of prosperity and good luck, pretzels were enjoyed by both the rich (used as a symbol for undying love for aristocratic couples) and the poor (monks baked and distributed pretzels to those living in poverty). Today, the pretzel reaches many audiences as well, both culturally (enjoyed by Americans and Europeans) and flavor-wise (can be customized with both sweet and savory seasonings, thanks to the minimally-flavored dough).
Pretzels are relatively easy to make, and you can customize them with the flavor of your choice. One step of this recipe may be confusing: boiling the pretzel in baking soda. Why? Boiling the pretzel gives it the puffy shape, and the baking soda gives the pretzel its iconic brown outside. Though it takes a bit more time than simply folding and baking the pretzel, the outcome is worth it: a soft, iconically brown pretzel.
Enjoy your Oktoberfest! May these soft pretzels indeed grant you luck and prosperity, and Ein Prosit der Gemütlichkeit!