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Jul 22, 2005 12:12 AM

Real Old-Fashioned NY Soft Pretzels

  • h

Does anyone remember the real old-fashioned NY soft pretzels that used to be available, stacked on a vertical wooden stick, at most every corner candy store and drugstore? They were also sometimes sold by independent pretzel men, who warmed them over charcoal grills, but unlike the characterless soft pretzels of today, they were much thicker, much crustier on the outside, and especially much chewier inside, more like a good bagel than the bready things sold today.

More to the point, does anyone know where such soft pretzels can still be found today?

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  1. I don't know about "authentic" old NY soft pretzels, but the German soft pretzels at Loreley surpass any I've ever tasted, from a street cart or otherwise. Fresh and hot, crispy on the outside, not as chewy as you are describing, though.

    1 Reply
    1. re: c212

      Am unfamiliar with what you've described. But the pretzels sold at the Union Square Farmers Market aren't bad, though not the kind you're looking for . . .

    2. I've heard Pennsylvania makes more old-school pretzels than anywhere else. Perhaps you should search that board.

      1. I sure remember those old pretzels, you're right, they were just like a good bagel. The ones everyone sells nowadays come from 2 different big companies, shiped frozen, and are nothing like that. They are skinny and tough, I wouldn't waste the calories eating one! I don't think you'll find anything else on the street though.

        1. c
          cathleen Grado

          Oh my!
          This is so funny because I was taking a walk in my Queens neighborhood the other day doing a little photo scouting for fun on my day off. Lets just say I love soft pretzels. Anyhow, I stopped into this corner delicatessen on a residential street for some hot coffee to warm myself up. It was a very old fashioned type place and the lady behind the counter was trying to make the happy man next to me the perfect sandwich, asking if he wanted salt and pepper, the cheese slices thin, ect.
          Well on the top of the cold cuts counter was an unbelievable sight.......

          A wooden square with a pole and lined up on the pole were fresh soft pretzels! I was delighted inside and got one and it was FANTASTIC

          And dear God I miss the old real bagel...........the only place you can find em now to the best of my knowledge is in Radburn NJ near Paramus, a really old Jewish Community lives there and the bagel shop has block long lines out the door weekend mornings.....nice small sized, hard on the outside chewy on the inside

          Now I am hungry!

          4 Replies
          1. re: cathleen Grado

            Stick aside, was this pretzel like those of yore, or was it just what's sold on most Manhattan street corners by hot-dog vendors?

            1. re: meatme

              It was tiny in comparison to the vendors on the corner today, and not so soggy, crispy hardish on the outside and chewy inside with less it tasted like the old fashioned kind to me:)
              not sure if that sounds right to you

              1. re: cathleen

                Hmmm. A hard crust, and chewy inside rather than bready. Sounds promising. Where was this again?

            2. re: cathleen Grado

              wow where in queens that you saw this pretzel