It's National Pretzel Day and there's no better way to celebrate than sampling a variety of the doughy, salty treats.
National Pretzel Day was started in 2003 by Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell. He declared April 26 “National Pretzel Day” to acknowledge the importance of the pretzel to the state’s history and economy, according to nationaldaycalendardar.com.
Pretzels in North America trace to the Pennsylvania Dutch immigrants in the 19th Century, where pretzel bakeries eventually grew across the state. Soft pretzels became popular in the 20th century in Philadelphia, Chicago and New York.
Pretzels by the numbers:
- The average Philadelphian consumes about 12 times as many pretzels as the national average.
- Pennsylvania produces 80 percent of the nation’s pretzels -- hard and soft.
- The US pretzel industry is worth over $550 million a year.
- The average American consumes about 1.5 pounds of pretzels per year.