Germany has some great food. Ok, so a lot of it is meat and of no interest to me, but the meat-free food can be delicious. Take bretzels for example. Big bread pretzels. Bought at the right bakers they are mouth-wateringly divine. The bread is so light and soft on the inside, yet the outside is really crisp and crunchy. They have a sprinkling of large salt crystals scattered across them. They usually cost about 50 cents, though I did find them in Lidl for 29 cents – the bakery ones are better though.
Bretzels get their brown colour from lye. This used to be used as a cleaning agent and disinfectant. Some time in the 18th century a baker accidently dropped a batch of bretzel dough into his bucket of lye. He decided to bake them anyway and the modern lye bretzel was born. Lye bretzels are particulaly popular in Southern Germany and the name ‘bretzel’ is just a variation of the more common ‘pretzel’.
They are bought everywhere here as a quick snack and the children love them. When I do see them in the UK they’re more of an expensive treat and not nearly as nice.
I’ve heard about an Australian guy who’d liked them so much he started importing the dough to Australia and baking them there. He’s now a millionaire. Now there’s a business idea I could follow up on …