Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia

Artifact: Pretzel

Philadelphia Soft Pretzels

(J. Varney for Visit Philadelphia)

Pretzel Vendor, 1934

In the depths of the Great Depression, a pretzel vendor sets up shop outside Stetson Junior High School. (PhillyHistory.org)

Philadelphia soft pretzels are distinguished from all others by their shape (a figure-8, not loopy with a thick center and thinner ends), their texture (chewy, not crunchy), and their distribution method (look for them on street corners, not supermarkets). They come lightly salted, or, on request, as “baldies.”

— Text by Dianna Marder


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