NSFM2012 - Day 20
Featured snack: Trader Joe’s Pumpernickel Pretzel Sticks
Rating: 74 Lederhosen
I don’t think it is controversial to suggest that salt is the best and most useful of all the spices. Of course, what makes salt so great is its ability to enhance the flavors around it instead of being its own flavor. It is like the John Paul Jones of spices in that way.
This is what has always made pretzels a bit of a puzzle to me. I’ve never thought that a bread stick, albeit a crispy bread stick, held an interesting enough flavor to be enhanced. In fact, I would go so far as to say that the bread sticks commonly used for pretzels are so neutral, so empty of personality, that the flavor of pretzels becomes essentially the flavor of salt. Needless to say, this doesn’t make for a very compelling snack experience.
Trader Joe’s Pumpernickel Pretzel Sticks avoid this problem simply by using a more interesting and delicious bread as the central vehicle of the snack - giving pretzel salt, perhaps for the first time, something useful to do. Was that so hard?