Have you ever tried a real Philadelphian cheesesteak or a soft, melt in your mouth, pretzel? If not – there is plenty of pleasure ahead… Along with other dishes, Philadelphian cheesesteaks and pretzels became signature American food, symbolizing American culture and traditions.
In 18th century Philadelphia (the city of taverns) was the main meeting place for politicians and businessmen. Such taverns as London Coffee House, the Blue Anchor, Tun Tavern, and John Biddle’s Indian King were loved by local elite. By the end of 19th century Italian immigrants established a market on 9th street, and then another one – Reading Terminal Market. But the biggest culinary event was the appearance of pretzels. They say that the history of this pastry goes back to the 7th century and is related to the French. However, it was brought to Pennsylvania by the Dutch, Germans and Swiss. This foodstuff became so popular, that enterprising immigrants started opening bakeries.
In the 20th century soft pretzels’ popularity spread out county-wide. No wonder – it was a cheap and fast lunch at school, work, home, at the stadium, and movie theater… It can be called the very first fast-food! Today Pennsylvania is the center of pretzel baking and produces up to 80% of this pastry in US.
Nevertheless, our state and city are not only famous for pretzels. In 1930 Pat and Harry Olivieri, who were cooking hot-dogs, offered their customers, for the first time, a sandwich – Italian roll with sliced fried meat and cheese. This was the first appearance of the first famous cheesesteak, – food, that became one of city tourists “musts”. Sometimes, people even choose hotels closer to cheesesteak places, for example restaurant Tony Luke’s Cheesesteaks. Mention, one cannot reserve a place here up front, every one stays in line to get the real Philadelphian cheesesteak.
And here is the sensation of 21st century: two most loved foods of Philadelphia gathered into a cheesesteak pretzel! It took a year and a half to create the final result – thinly sliced steak and cheese baked into a soft pretzel pastry. Presentation of cheesesteak pretzel took place in Love Park, where 700 cheese steaks were given to people for free.
The idea of the cheesesteak pretzel was thought of by Philly-Pretzel Factory producers who added one more signature dish in the Philadelphian menu.
Well, lets wait when the Pretzel Museum, established in Philadelphia in 1993, will showcase a cheesesteak pretzel!