Pretzels are a traditional Easter treat.
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Pretzels originated in the 7th century in Southern France and Northern Italy where they were prepared for Lent. Because they were prepared with only flour and water, they were perfect for the fasting holiday, when Christians were forbidden to eat eggs, lard, or dairy products. The bread was crossed to demonstrate crossing arms like in the act of praying. At this time, these snacks were called “pretiola”, meaning “little reward” in Latin.
It wasn’t long before the recipe made its way to Germany and Austria and the name changed to “pretzel.” Some accounts even state that German children would hunt for pretzels before the more well known tradition of hunting for eggs. Similar to Easter, pretzels symbolize life and rebirth.