Any thought we had that we absolutely had to make cheese steaks to represent a Philly team was dispelled by a recent episode of Top Chef, when Dale stated “when you think of Philly, you think of cheese steaks and pretzels,” proving that pretzels are a completely legitimate symbol of Philadelphia cuisine. According to Wikipedia, pretzels were not actually invented in Philadelphia, but date back to the 7th century (way before Philadelphia’s founding in 1682), and were brought to the United States by the Pennsylvania Dutch. Who knew?
We brought these pretzels, along with Election Cake, to a party, and they were gobbled up almost immediately. While making pretzels is labor-intensive, it is also an incredibly fun process, which involves dunking the adorable uncooked pretzels in a baking soda bath prior to cooking. And when we had an unexpected visit from the FDNY during pretzel-making (due to some scarily low-hanging wires in our backyard), one of the firefighters remarked “smells good in here” as he traipsed through the kitchen, before quickly declaring the wires to be no risk (“don’t even bother coming to look at them,” he told the rest of the firefighters dismissively).