Monday, December 31, 2012


For the past four years we have lived in the area where I grew up so some of the fun has been taking the children to places that I remember going as a kid. One of the places on my list was the Sturgis Pretzel House. This was the first commercial pretzel bakery in the USA. In 1861 Julian Sturgis began making pretzels in this bakery.


It is interesting to hear the legends on how this was started -- one version has a hobo giving Julian Sturgis a pretzel recipe and another version is that he left the soft pretzels in the oven too long and they became hard pretzels.


We were taught how to roll and twist pretzels. In 1861 they employees were paid by the number of pretzels that they made. I think we were a bit slow.


I think she has a bit of a long tail on her pretzel.

One interesting thing is that Julian Sturgis made his own yeast. I didn't even know you could do that. But he kept the recipe a secret and so when he died they had to find a source for yeast.


We saw the original ovens. At this time they were no longer working but based on when one of the ovens stopped working, it was probably working when I was there as a child.

The average American eats 1 1/2 pounds of pretzels a year but the average Pennyslvanian eats more than that. Most of the pretzels in the grocery store are local brands. We have both hard and soft pretzels here. Maybe I will consider this as part of our PA history.

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