Bars Favorite Snack: How Pretzels Went From Soft To Hard

By Boardwalk Food Company on July 21, 2022

Pretzels really are the quintessential bar food. In the old days, we only had soft pretzels that people made for commemorative gift giving, weddings, and other purposes. Now, they’re crunchy, crispy, and Boardwalk Food Company infuses them with beer flavoring.

So, how did we go from soft to hard pretzels? While soft pretzels are still a great treat as well, let’s explore the history behind the transformation into the hard kind.

From Soft to Hard Pretzels

Pretzels made their way to America in the 18th century after hundreds of years of popularity in Germany. The original soft form was a popular treat during meals or as a dessert. They didn’t become much of a commercial product until the mid-19th century.

In 1861, Julius Sturgis opened the first “pretzel bakery” in Lititz, Pennsylvania. To this day, Pennsylvania is the pretzel capital of America (80% come from there), but there were some initial problems with production. Frankly, producing lots of soft pretzels and keeping them fresh was an arduous task (they’d go stale rather quickly).

How did Sturgis solve the dilemma? He invented the hard pretzel!

He found he could keep them fresher longer by using less water, making pretzels dryer and harder. This opened up several opportunities to distribute them throughout the country by keeping them in airtight seals. Hence, from there, the commercial pretzel industry began.

Mass Production of Hard Pretzels

How do manufacturers make pretzels in high volume now? Right after WWII, the Reading Pretzel Machine gave them the chance to make hard pretzels at an astonishing rate of 250 per minute. The rest is history as Americans now enjoy a huge abundance of hard pretzels almost anywhere they go (even on airlines).

Get Craft Pretzels Through Boardwalk Food Company

Boardwalk Food Company is happy to sustain the hard pretzel’s legacy with our innovative craft beer pretzels. We offer four different flavors: Pilsner, IPA, Beer Cheese, and our new Sweet and Spicy Sriracha. We love to sell these wholesale directly to bars in cases of 12 bags (each bag is 8 ounces of pretzels). This includes the possibility to mix and match with combination bags featuring all four flavors.

Boardwalk Food Company helps bars stock themselves with tasty snacks that splendidly complement the beer they serve. If you’d like to learn more about our products, feel free to contact us at any time.

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