So, what is a bretzel? And what makes it so über?
The bretzel is the better, fresher relative of the pretzel. In fact, at family reunions, there is a grandmother who constantly asks the pretzel why it is not as good as its cousin.
It's because we make ours with organic whole grain flour and organic butter instead of processed white flour and lard.
The bretzel has been around for millennia. It was first written of by the Romans in 200 AD. In some paintings of the Last Supper, it is on the table. We wonder if the rest of that meal was as organic and biodegradable as Hannah's?
Our bretzel was founded in 1477 according to the Museum for Bread Culture in the small town of Ulm in southern Germany. Crusty on the outside and soft on the inside, it enjoyed many twists and turns on its way to perfection in the kitchens of Hannah's Bretzel.
HISTORY OF THE NAME
It is widely accepted that the word "bretzel" comes from the Latin "bracchium", which means arm, because the bretzel resembles two crossed arms. Over time and with local influences, the Antique-German word "precita" developed with several similar sounding words like "brezitella," "brezin" and "brozn", and finally today's "brezel" and bretzel at Hannah's.
History tells us that the bretzel is one of the most historic and religious breads, which originated from the ancient Romans' "ring bread" over a span of nearly 2,000 years. Here is a short review of the historic bretzel timeline:
The Roman "ring bread," a circular bread used in religious venues was mainly consumed during supper. Over many centuries, it changed its shape, opening up at the top of the ring.
It's assumed that this new shape was caused by an increased demand for the bread, which required Romans to abandon the time consuming, "perfect" shape of the ring.
Across Europe, this open ring bread changed its shape once again, to resemble the number 6. This "twisted 6" was enjoyed as a holiday treat by monks and priests in central Europe.
It is generally believed that by the mid 1100s, the ring bread transformed into what we know today as the bretzel. - in monasteries across Austria, Germany, the Alsace region of France, and Switzerland.
The rich religious tradition of the bretzel is visible in the paintings of the early 12th, 13th and 14th centuries. The oldest visual illustration of the bretzel dates back to the 1180s and shows a scene of the Last Supper with 6-shaped ring breads. It shows that the bretzel established itself as a household item across central Europe and it remained popular, twisted and tasty until the present day.
The Swabian bretzel was born in Urach near Stuttgart, Germany.
Hannah's Bretzel opens its doors in Chicago, bringing the traditional, delicious, twisted and tasty organic bretzel to the United States from Europe.