Why can’t I stop eating these pretzels? What’s in them? Dot’s Homestyle Pretzels are like the crack cocaine of salty snacks.
Recently, I was in Salt Lake City for a wedding. A wedding that had been postponed two times, which made it seem like it wasn’t going to happen.
We drove through Las Vegas on the way to Salt Lake. I hadn’t seen the Raiders stadium, which is a Frisbee toss off I-15. The stadium looks as impressive, permanent and temporary as everything else there.
Sue’s cousin and his wife hosted dinner Thursday night. They served pretzels before dinner. I couldn’t stop wolfing them down and neither could anybody else.
They were stick pretzels. Stick pretzels are more economical than the big curvy ones. The curvy ones are a mouthful and can splinter in your mouth like pretzel shrapnel.
I can stay away from pretzels normally. They are not a must-eat item. In the glittering constellation of snack foods or, as an ingredient in party mix that also includes Wheat Chex, Corn Chex, Rice Chex and roasted peanuts, pretzels are the least essential item among their peers.
Dot’s were different. They had something, a flavor I couldn’t stay away from. Some flicker of palate recognition. Like a good red wine, the pretzels had a taste delivered late, but consistently, that was addicting, which I couldn’t identify and, since I couldn’t, I had to have another handful to see if I could.
“What are these?” I asked. “They’re unbelievable.”
“Dot’s,” said Trish, the groom’s mother and Sue’s cousin’s wife.
“Dot’s? I’ve never heard of them.”
Dot was a real person from North Dakota. Dot made the pretzels in her kitchen. Then she grew out of her kitchen and probably several after that.
Dot had a story. I like stories and I like a pretzel with a story.
This was a great pretzel and even better, a great regional pretzel. It wouldn’t be regional for long because I was bringing some back to California. Dot, I’m spreading the good word for you. Dot, I believe in you and when I believe in somebody, if you’re not at the top of the pretzel mountain, take my hand because we’re going there.
I went to Smith’s Market in Salt Lake City and bought six bags and drove them 703 miles to Bakersfield. I planned to give one each to the boys, one to a friend and keep three for myself because who knows the next time we’d be back for a Utah wedding that had been postponed twice.
“You can get those at Floyd’s, Walmart and Vons,” Sam said when we got home.
You can? When did that happen and why didn’t somebody say something? Are you trying to tell me that this regional pretzel is available in all the regions and regions two miles from our house?
That didn’t stop him from eating them. Eating some and then eating more.
Thomas took one too. Dot’s are good. They have a story and the story is, you can’t stop eating them.
Email contributing columnist Herb Benham at [email protected] His column appears here on Sundays; the views expressed are his own.