Pretzels at Alla Spina | Photo by Arthur Etchells
As a lifetime Philadelphian I’ve consumed more than my fare share of pretzels. Even with the knowledge that Philadelphians eat more than 12 times as many pretzels as the average American, I feel I consume more than all but the most zealous Philadelphia pretzel eaters. And it has been that way for a long time. In Catholic grade school, the soft pretzel was as much a part of any school day as prayer. I’ve had a pretzel with mustard for breakfast more often than any bowl of cereal. I still don’t blink at the thought of ordering a pretzel from any street vendor, though I’ve become suspicious of the watered-down mustard coming out of the squirt bottles (that’s why there are always mustard packets in my desk drawer). And I believe a certain amount of Philadelphia’s culture vanished when Herb Denenberg aired his hidden camera report on pretzel vendors, but that was disgusting.
Favorite Soft Pretzels »
It’s a little warm out for an open fire, but for many Christmas time means the sweet flavor of chestnuts, be they roasted, pureed, or folded into something sweet. Unfortunately, for those who love them, they can be difficult to find stateside. Here are a few spots around town where you can find their incomparable flavor, Jack Frost nipping or no.
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Packing a picnic basket for a day trip to the beach can be a monotonous task. Water bottles, ham-and-cheese sandwiches on white, bags of salt and vinegar chips. Or maybe, because you’re a true Philadelphian, you’re making a pit stop at Wawa for an Italian hoagie with extra sweet peppers. There’s nothing wrong with the usual. Old habits die hard and it’s a fact that hoagies taste better with salt water in the air. This summer however, we’re breaking routine and packing up some of our local Philly favorites to bring down the shore because everyone needs a taste of home away from home.
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