Pretzels, somewhat surprisingly, got their start in the Catholic Church. Sometime around the 7th Century A.D., monks presented their students with treats of baked dough twisted in the shape of crossed arms. At the time, crossing one’s arms was the traditional posture for prayer. Not only that, but pretzels, made from water, flour and salt, were also the perfect food for Lent — when meat, dairy and eggs were prohibited. So there you have some National Pretzel Day history — with a twist!
Note: Pretzel impresarios Wetzel’s, Auntie Anne’s, and Philly Pretzel Factory are among those with special giveaways on April 26.