The largest ever pretzel was 40 pounds, baked by Philadelphia resident Joe Nacchio. It was 5 feet across!
April 26 is National Pretzel Day! The day was declared by then-Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell in 2003.
Many believe that pretzels were invented by an Italian monk in 610. He baked strips of dough and folded them to a shape resembling a child crossing his arms in prayer. He called them "pretiolas" or "little rewards" and gave them to the kids who had memorized their prayers.
Pretzels have long been considered good luck charms. In Germany, it's tradition to eat a pretzel at midnight on New Years Eve to assure prosperity and fortune all year long. Pretzels hung on Christmas trees in Austria in the 16th century and parents hid little pretzels on Easter for children to find.
The average American eats 2 pounds of pretzels each year. Philadelphians, however, eat six times as much - 12 pounds per year!