Everyone has a pedigree – even the pretzel, the world's oldest snack food. In fact, you can follow the twists and turns as early as 610AD at a monastery in Southern France or Northern Italy where monks used scraps of dough and formed them into strips to represent a child's arms folded in prayer. The three holes represented the Christian Trinity.
The monks soft-baked and offered the warm, doughy bribe to children who had memorized their Bible verses and prayers. The monks called it a Pretiola, Latin for little reward. From there, the Pretzel transformed into the Italian word, Brachiola, which means little arms.
The Pretiola journeyed beyond the French and Italian wine regions, hiked the Alps, wandered through Austria, and crossed into Germany, where it became known as the Bretzel or Pretzel.