Sunday, March 6, 2011

Pretzels for Lent

"The earliest medieval references to pretzels, including the earlier reference by Isidore of Seville, share the common theme that pretzels were associated with fasting. They were food for monks, and, for the most part, it was in the bakeries of monasteries that most pretzels were made. This connection with suffering or abstinence is vividly illustrated in the book of hours belonging to Catherine of Cleves, an illuminated manuscript in the Pierpont Morgan Library that shows the sufferings of St. Bartholomew completely framed by a border of pretzels."

(The complete exposition is found in the April 1991 issue of The World and I magazine, pp 616-623)

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