Friday, December 12, 2008

Martin's Pretzels at Union Square Farmers' Market


Earlier this week, my food writing class at The New School celebrated our last night together with a party. Our teacher, Andrew Smith (Andy) food history writer extraordinaire, contributed organic wine, students brought homemade and store bought fare, cookies, chickpea stew, cheese and pate. This "LightHearted Locavore" brought a few dozen Martin's hand-made pretzels from nearby Pennsylvania Dutch country. Hard, crunchy, tasty, hard (did I say that already?) pretzels with a perfect amount of course, savory salt. And, MADE BY HAND. The class and Andy loved them. CRUNCH!

I've been eating Martin's Pretzels for years, and in fact will go out of my way on market days to procure these tasty treats. For the past three months I've stopped by Union Square Farmers Market every Monday night on the way to Andy's class. As much as I typically choose whole grain foods and moderate my salt (hey, I'm a nutrition counselor), hands down their white flour salty pretzels are my favorite though it's nice to know they listen to their customers and have started to make whole wheat pretzels (as well as salt free - bald - pretzels).

Tonight, I decided to visit their website and learn more about MARTINS! What a great story.

You can order pretzels, including less expensive "broken" pretzels, read about this history of hand-made pretzels (did you know pretzels date back to ancient Rome and have a history in medieval Europe before coming to Pennsylvania Dutch country and New York City?), enjoy an informative Slow Food article about the baking process, and watch a behind the scenes Food Network video about Martin's Pretzels.

I watched the video which is shot in the factory and was really charmed by the love and care that go into hand forming these tasty snacks. A quick move turns a piece of white dough into a twisted pretzel - a blur of a move it's so fast -- before being popped into a 500-degree oven.

Don't miss the website at the link below. And, don't miss Martin's Pretzels on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at Union Square Greenmarket.

ABOUT THE FOOD
Akron, PA
phone: 315 628-4927 9am to 4 pm Eastern Time, Monday through Friday
email: service@martinspretzels.com
fax: 315 628-5074

HEALTH NOTES
While not a "health" food, pretzels are a low calorie, low fat snack.
Martin's Pretzels have approximately 75 calories per 20g pretzel, 0g fat, 12 g carbohydrate, 380 mg salt (and the whole wheat pretzel has 2.5 g of fiber)

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