Bavarians got it right. Cars, lederhosen, and dirndls are timeless icons. But more importantly they bring people together. Sure, ein masse of heffeweisen helps with frivolity. However the beer garden with long picnic benches provides THE place to gather, to laugh, and to share. Stands full of fish-on-stick, brats or beer-cheese line these outdoor places. The linchpin for this sacred time is a baked hunk of twisted dough.
Funny thing, the shape of the pretzel means something. Southern Germany is steeped in Roman Catholic history. It’s capital, Munich (München), is the city of monks. So it’s not surprising that the famous bread stands as a symbol of the Holy Trinity.
Notice that we picked an over-sized version for the family lunch rather than smaller, individual ones. This bread was made for tearing apart. The whole thing is one giant handle bar.
Try that with an Italian ciabatta. or a French boule. We hack at those with knives. Pretzels we break in the spirit of brotherhood. What is more satisfying than coming together as brothers?
E Pluribus Unum. Out of many, one. The Holy Trinity. Friends. Family. A nation. Many crumbs; a single loaf.
So the next time you set the table, ask yourself, “what food will bring us even closer together?” Do that and let us hear about it in the comment line.
If I made you hungry for brats and beer, look no further than the Easy Tiger in Austin, TX. Excellent bread and inventive, hand-made sausages. The duck sausage with caramelized fennel might just cause you to moan like Sally in when she met Harry. You have been warned. It is a VERY public place.