Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Pretzel Story

I recently read an article about pretzels in the New York Times that mentions a number of bakeries in New York City where one can buy fresh baked soft pretzels and a wonderful bakery in Northampton, MA called Bakery Normand. I have been a fan of good bread for a long time and I often enjoyed Normand's pretzel rolls among other treats in their shop when I lived in the small city in western Massachusetts. I like all kinds of breads and pastries and have baked some of my own in the past. I even wrote a book about a baker.

The NYT pretzel piece described the style of pretzels that come from the Baden-W├╝rttemberg region in Germany where I grew up in this way: "the pretzels are known for their fat 'bellies' and skinny, intertwined arms." My pretzel story, which also includes a little pretzel history, is called Walter the Baker. The story is based on the tale of how the pretzel was invented, which was told to me by my Grandmother when I was a boy. But I truly had an uncle named Walter who was a baker and who baked, along with all kinds of bread, cookies, cakes and rolls; pretzels!


  1. I love this story! My students and I read it a number of times and then as a fun activity I gave them each their own piece of dough and they made their own pretzels which we baked and then happily devoured. Thank you for another wonderful book.

  2. I, too, grew up in Germany and I loved those pretzels! I remember every St. Martin's day we would get a sugared pretzel at the end of the night time parade...very good memories :)

  3. Great story! Great picture!

    It's been a long time since I've been to Northampton. I don't think the bakery was there when I was in school there. I remember yummy ice cream shops, though!

  4. how lovely to find your blog.
    love your work & inspiration!
    & who doesn't love a pretzel?!
    (i just saw new m & m's that have pretzels in them!). & i ADORE your mozart post below...banners for my heart. best & bloomiest your way..

  5. Thanks M. Carle, because, in a most roundabout way, you have connected me with my grandson in Ireland when living in France.
    (And just because we both share the same handsome good looks)
    see here;

  6. What a lovely story - and an unbeatable combination of food and art in one post. Thank you.

  7. I work as a full time nanny & read your books almost daily to the boy I take care of. My mother read them to me as a child, and they have a special place in my heart. I was wondering if there is a venue to get prints of some of the artwork from your books? I found a book of prints, but I was hoping for something larger...

    Please let me know! I would love to have one to put in my house!

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