It's amazing what you can do with a pretzel; in fact, everywhere you look these days the versatile snack is popping up on menus in some form or another.
Served crispy or soft, the salty treat is making an appearance in the appetizer course, in bread baskets, and even in desserts. And that's only the beginning ... here are five of our favorite pretzel compositions:
By now practically everyone's had pretzel bread. The soft, chewy dough is such a great base for a sandwich that bakeries and restaurants nationwide are starting to offer it alongside the more typical white, wheat, rye, etc. The Blimpie sandwich chain even has it on its menu.
Taking it one step further, some hot dog stands are adding pretzel dogs -- hot dogs wrapped in pretzel dough -- to their repertoire. And there's nothing quite like a burger on a toasted pretzel bun -- especially if you slather it with mustard. Mmmm.
Pretzel bites are becoming a trendy precursor to a meal, particularly when served with fancy dipping sauces like jalapeno mustard, roasted garlic horseradish, or warm blue cheese.
If you're a sweet-and-salty fanatic, then pretzel ice cream cones are the way to go. I think this cone would be the perfect vehicle for chocolate ice cream with caramel swirls.
And speaking of caramel -- salted caramel, that is -- Culinary Concoctions by Peabody substituted soft pretzels for regular bread in Salted Caramel Bread Pudding. I'm truly loving this idea!
Finally, we'd be entirely remiss if we failed to mention Pretzel M&M'S, a low-calorie treat that capitalizes on one of the most perfect flavor combinations of all time -- chocolate and pretzels.
Are you digging the pretzel fad? What's your favorite pretzel concoction?