Pretzel Myth 2: Not with a 10-Foot Pole
My own thought on the origin of pretzels, and it’s not original, is that they were invented in Central Europe, somewhere around the region of what is now known as Germany. That said, this is absolutely not how it happened.
Frankfurt, located in the German State of Hesse, has been an important commercial hub for hundreds of years. As far back as the Middle Ages, wealthy merchants from around the region would travel there to buy and/or sell their various wares. Knowing how much money changed hands there, highwaymen routinely robbed a good number of them as they traveled in or out. To help guard against this, a spear-toting town militia was formed, whose job it was to escort VIPs to and from the city. It worked, and in time, as they crime rate fell, the riding and greeting became a mostly ceremonial event. The spears were replaced with long poles upon which pitchers of ale and loops of bread were hung. These became modern-day pretzels.
Nope, won’t touch that one. Next!