An open letter to pretzels:

(I had been noticing a lot of “Open letters to:” lately and realized that I’ve never really paid my respects to pretzels. That changed today.)

You come to me, twisted and baked from wheat flour and malt syrup. Your salt glistens, and those of you unfortunately located at the bottom of the bag break apart from their formed shape. They are renegades, unassuming and innocent, but I cannot turn away from them.

Sometimes, you are long and hard, in the form of a rod. Sometimes, you are short and stubby, in the form of a nugget. Sometimes, you are soft and warm and sold at movie theaters. (And sometimes, the fictional voice of Michael Scott’s character on The Office reaches out to you, smiles at your writing, and throws a witty “That’s what she said” into the mix when it’s appropriate.)

Often, you identify with an area of central Pennsylvania first settled by the Dutch and Germans. But I know that your true origins might actually reach back to 600 A.D., might be Italian in nature and that “pretiolas” actually means “little rewards” in Italian.

And also that the folded origin of your shape might actually harken back to the folded arms of a monk.

Circa 2014, you presence remains in humanity. And a bag of you remains in my cabinet, at least for the next day or two. My wish is for you to endure the many trials of the upcoming years, and to remain in my life until my dark days arrive.

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