Americas Favorite Fundraiser: Boyer Candies - History of the Pretzel

History of the Pretzel


The Pretzel's beginning is a little vague. Historians believe that it was created in 610 AD By monks in a monastery in Southern France or Northern Italy where they would use scraps of dough from their bread baking and formed them into strips to represent a child’s arms folded in prayer. The three empty holes represented the Christian Trinity. The monks offered these baked delights to the children who had memorized their prayers. The monks called it Petriola , latin word for Little Reward . It was also called by the Italian word Brachiola ,which means little arms. The Pretiola or Brachiola eventually made it’s way across the alps to Ausria and across Germany where it became known as the Bretzel or Pretzel.

The pretzel shape worked its way into the culture not only as a reward but as a symbol of Good luck and prosperity. At Eastertime pretzels were served with 2 hard boiled eggs and hidden around farms . It is believed that this tradition was the start of the Easter Egg Hunt that we know today. A another tradition in Europe started Where the Bride and Groom tugged on a pretzel like a wishbone for Good Luck. Hence the term “Tying the Knot”.

The pretzel recipe was believed to have come over to America on the Mayflower . The settlers were believe to have made and sold them to the Indians who loved them. The hard pretzel was discovered by accident in 17th century Pennsylvania When a baker’s helper fell asleep tending pretzels baking .When he awoke the flames had died down. Mistakenly he thought the pretzels did not cook enough and restarted the fire. When the master baker arrived , he thought the batch was ruined.As he proceeded to throw them out , he tasted one and found the crispy version to be not only delicious but would keep longer to sell.

The first commercial pretzel bakery was established in Lancaster Pennsylvania. The fist automated pretzel twisting machine was created in Reading Pennsylvania in 1935. The Triple Twist Pretzel was added to the Boyer line of Products in 1997.