MILTON - For those who did not know, April 26 is National Pretzel Day. What’s that? You didn’t know there was a holiday dedicated to the pretzel? They’re practically a national dish, along with the likes of hot dogs and pizza. Of course there’d be a holiday. And luckily, Milton’s own Philly Pretzel Factory is celebrating it.
As the only PPF franchise in Georgia, owners Steven and Jill Erhardt don’t take the responsibility of honoring the bread concoction lightly. For starters, they’re giving away one free pretzel to everyone who comes into their store on Pretzel Day (you can also get another free one by Friending them on Facebook).
“I live here but I’m originally from Philly,” said Steven Erhardt, explaining why he opened the business. “Everyone likes pretzels. So this was a good idea.” To help get Georgians accustomed to the ancient Germanic snack food, the Erhardts have been shopping their pretzels throughout the metro area. Georgia Tech has been receiving “GT”-shaped pretzels for all their sports games. The Vortex bars downtown have also been equipped with spiral-shaped pretzels. Other universities are soon to be added to the list as well.
“Once you taste our pretzels, you just can’t beat it,” said Erhardt. “Fresh-made to frozen? There’s no competition.”
The pretzel has a surprisingly deep history. Legend says the snack was created in the 5th Century in Germany by monks – hence the traditional spiral wrapping of the two pretzel ends, to symbolize praying. The dish came over to America via German settlers in the Pennsylvania area.
National Pretzel Day was created in 1983 when Pennsylvania’s Rep. Robert S. Walker declared his favorite food was deserving of a holiday. In April of 2003, Pennsylvania’s Governor Ed Rendell joined the bandwagon by re-declaring the unofficial national holiday.
Pretzels are big in Pennsylvania. Really big. So big that, on previous Pretzel Day celebrations, people have eaten up to 20,000 pretzels – if these had been laid end-to-end, they would be taller than the Eiffel Tower. This is hardly surprising; the average American eats about two pounds of pretzels in a year. It’s bound to be much higher in the Pretzel capital of Philly.
“We have an incredible fanatical following. This day is about us having a little fun, giving back and feeding our guest’s need for great taste,” said Dan DiZio, President and co-founder of Philly Pretzel Factory.
For more information on Milton’s Philly Pretzel Factory, visit them at 13087 Ga. 9 North, Suite 910 in Milton, (in the Target shopping center), or online at