Pretzels thanks to Julius Sturgis

September 4, 2011

Bagels are to pretzels as beer is to bleach. Really. Because while you boil bagels in a lovely simmering pot of malted water, you carefully dip pretzels with gloved hands into a non-reactive bowl filled with a lye solution made of water and NaOH pellets ordered off the internet at a minimum weight of two pounds.

But oh, they are worth every harrowing moment of this process. Even when one discovers the rubber gloves have a hole in the finger, thus compromising ones ability to ever use his or her right hand again.


Some say pretzels were invented in 610 AD to represent a child’s arms in prayer and the three holes stood for the holy trinity. The term “pretzel” comes from the Latin “pretiola” meaning “little reward.”

However, there are others who believe that pretzels originated much later than that. We fast forward to 1861, when one man from Lititz, Pennsylvania began a pretzel empire. That man was Julius Sturgis.

Thus I invited Mr. Sturgis over to try my pretzels, and I was not a little surprised to see him face to face.  Here he is speaking Pennsylvania Dutch (translated as best as possible).

At first, I was worried that his appearance came as a result of eating too many pretzels. It would not be difficult to eat too many pretzels in Lititz. However, Mr. Sturgis assured me that he always looked like this, and in fact the pretzel is modeled after his head.

Why, of course.

Mr. Sturgis gave me a few pointers on pretzel shaping, handling, and salt applying. I look forward to following his suggestions in the near future.

I must end this post by reassuring those of you concerned about passing on your negative traits to your offspring. Please observe the likeness of Tom Sturgis, grandson of Julius Sturgis. On the other hand, it might skip some generations.


One Response to “Pretzels thanks to Julius Sturgis”

  1. popZ said

    is this the first time that you did not use color in drawing?

    I wish I had had a petzel too.

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