250-Year-Old Pretzel

June 10, 2016

 

Photo: Thomas Stöckl/Bavarian State Department of Monument and Sites.

 

Even though they are 250 years old, the pretzel fragments are similar to today's product. They look the same. The fragments are just a little bit smaller because of the carbonizing process.

 

Unearthed during a large excavation on the "Donaumarkt" in Regensburg, an area nearby the Danube which was destroyed in the 1950-60s, the charred pretzel fragments are believed to be 250 years old. They were recovered beneath a floor in a structure long known to be a bakery.

 

  "We found the remains of two pretzels, a piece of bread shaped like a croissant and three small bread rolls," Silvia Codreanu-Windauer, of the Bavarian State Department of Monuments and Sites, told Discovery News.

   

Carbon dating showed the pastries were made between 1700 and 1800. 

Indeed, the archaeologists found written evidence that in 1753 a baker named Johann Georg Held was living at the site.

 

It is believed pretzels were invented sometime between the 5th and 6th centuries by monks who twisted leftover strips of dough to look like arms crossed in prayer. 

 

Even though they are 250 years old, the pretzel fragments are similar to today's product.

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