Pretzels are quite popular in Vienna: they are on the menu in many of the heurigen and breweries, and are available in a lot of the bakeries and street stands. To my surprise, pretzels are even more popular in the area around Salzburg. The breweries that we visited and several take away stands even had a special rack to display pretzels, and I saw a couple street stands devoted solely to pretzels.
This past Sunday we went to “Die Salzburger Dult,” a folk festival reminiscent of the county fairs that we have in Virginia. The festival had one of the aforementioned pretzel stands, where I discovered my new favorite pretzel: mohn brezel (poppyseed pretzel). I think it was normal pretzel dough that had been buttered, sprinkled with sugar, cinnamon, and poppyseed, formed into a pretzel shape, and baked. It was so, so good and I am now more determined than ever to learn to make pretzels from scratch.
On a side note, all of the “normal” plain pretzels that we ate in the Salzburg area (and that was many) had caraway seeds in the dough. I know this is sometimes the case with the pretzels here in Vienna, but I don’t think it’s as common. I’m not a huge fan of the caraway seed but my kids are, so once I learn how to do a basic pretzel I will start experimenting with different varieties to include caraway and poppyseed. I hope to do this in the near future, so stay tuned for a base recipe.