Pretzels — or pretzeled bread, if you want to be a stickler about it — were likely invented by monks all the way back in the Early Middle Ages (known in anthropological circles as the "pre-Cronut era"). And, all things considered, they really haven't changed that much in the hundreds upon hundreds of years since. But even way back then, the monks could choose to eat their invention one of two ways: hard or soft.
As far as I'm concerned, wise monks and wise Super Bowl partygoers alike choose hard pretzels, and here are five crunch-tastic reasons why.
1. Soft pretzels are always wet.
You're visiting New York City. You just checked out the Empire State Building, you're headed to the ice-skating rink at Rockefeller Center, and you recently stepped on an abandoned slice of pizza in the middle of the street. In other words, you're feeling like a real New Yorker, so why not grab a pretzel as genuine Manhattanites are wont to do? You approach the vendor, give him your money, and take a bite. "Wait," you ask yourself. "Why is this all wet?" Welcome to the world of soft pretzels, population: you.
2. They never come from a bag, so you don't know where they're from.
Think about it: Whether at the street cart described above or at your local mall's food court, someone simply hands you a soft pretzel. You tell yourself "they just made it fresh," but are you lying to yourself?
Hard pretzels, on the other hand, come in bags made by reputable companies with austere, German-sounding names. That's much better than eating the baked bread equivalent of mystery meat.
3. Hard pretzels are easier to eat at home.
You can buy a box of frozen soft pretzels and then heat them up at home, but then you have to heat them up at home. You know, versus just opening a bag of hard pretzels and eating them.
4. Two words: Spilled mustard.
Mustard stains are a real threat. Soft pretzels are begging to be dipped in mustard (or worse, liquid cheese) and that almost always leads to disaster. Most people don't dip hard pretzels into mustard or cheese. If anything, people who choose to dip a hard pretzel into something might choose a hearty spinach dip. In that case, the twists and general sturdiness of a hard pretzel will help keep the dip in place.
5. Soft pretzels are just weird, salty bagels.
A good bagel (even a salt bagel!) beats a soft pretzel every time. And I'd always rather pair my carbs with lox and cream cheese than a crusty old bottle of mustard. As far as whether a bagel is preferable to an English muffin, however, well that's a whole other debate.
Did I get it twisted? Let me know in the comments!