It’s Inktober Day 17 and today’s prompt is salty. One word with so many ways to represent it. I opted for the good old fashioned Philly pretzel. There’s nothing like a hot Philly pretzel straight out of the oven, slathered with brown mustard, spicy or not, I don’t care. Philly pretzels are amazing. Delis and shops, food trucks and food carts all over the Philadelphia region sell Philly pretzels. The best are the salted ones but you can get them unsalted.
I know, some of you like the Auntie Anne pretzels. Yeah, those are dessert pretzels. Philly pretzels are a savory dough, they taste like a hot buttered roll, not a rolled up doughy cookie. Philly pretzels are sort of like a twisted bagel with salt. They are usually a long shape, not your traditional round pretzel. They aren’t like the Bavarian soft pretzels you get in gastropubs this time of year. Once you try a real Philly pretzel, you’ll understand the difference.
Philly pretzels straight out of the oven are hard and crispy on the outside. The inside is soft, bread like; some folks like to pull out the soft inside and eat it like an oreo, soft inside first then the harder outer crust. (Or if you are in a schoolyard, the inside dough balls are used to bean someone in the head. Only Philly kids could use soft pretzels as a weapon.)
I think some of the pretzel companies ship them around the US. I haven’t tried that yet but maybe I should. Some things like Philly pretzels, cheesesteaks, hoagies, scrapple, Irish potatoes, Taylor Pork ROLL (it’s not Taylor ham, it says ROLL on the box) and Jewish Apple cake are best when acquired in the Philly Region.
Oh, and the piece de resistance? Birthday pound cake from Stock’s Bakery on Lehigh Ave and chocolate from Lore’s Chocolate on 7th St.
And I am not a fan of Pat’s or Geno’s cheesesteaks. Those are for tourists. Some of your best cheesesteaks come from the neighborhood bar or deli. Or Jim’s on South Street. My favorite place is Somerdale Deli. In South Jersey.