Pretzels make for a great grab-and-go snack or a crispy addition to a grazing platter. But did you know they are perfect paired with beer?
Crunchy and moreish, snack pretzels are a favourite pantry staple for Kiwis.
The knot-shaped snack most commonly enjoyed in Aotearoa is the ‘hard’ pretzel – the kind you find everywhere (pre-packaged, crunchy texture, sprinkled in rock salt).
But you might have come across the original-style ‘soft’ pretzels at markets or whilst travelling overseas. Soft pretzels are fairly large, have a bread-like texture and a signature knot shape – these are reminiscent of the pretzels first created.
Above: The original bread-like pretzel; The crispy and convenient pretzels.
So why do beer and pretzels go so well together?
Well, they have a long history together, which began in Europe many, many moons ago. The saltiness of pretzels had folk reaching for a drink to rehydrate their dry mouth (salt is known to absorb water) after enjoying pretzels.
In Germany, beer was an extremely common drink so it became the preferred pairing among punters.
So, yes, they are a good match for the palate. But the salt from pretzels can actually help enhance the flavour and hop bitterness of some beers, while providing a flavour contrast to less hoppy styles – enhancing your perception of flavour along the way.
Grab a packet of pretzels to enjoy with your beer next time and taste the combination for yourself.