Sunday, October 6, 2013

What's the Big Deal Over Pretzel Buns?

Pretzel buns, seems like everyone and their mother is offering some type of sandwich encased in a pretzel bun. Sonic is taunting sports fans by insinuating that the hotdogs sold at games aren't good enough anymore; that a pretzel bun makes the experience better. The idea of putting a hotdog inside a pretzel is no bright idea; Auntie Anne's, the famous soft pretzel maker, has had it on their menu for years! The chain restaurant, Chili's, is offering up burgers on pretzel buns, as is the fast food chain, Wendy's; again, not a novel idea. So, why is this newest food fad hitting the consumer scene so hard?  I've no exact clue, but I'm figuring it's boredom and when the big food chains push an item, most folks are sheeple.  No, seriously, in my many years of food adventuring, a novel idea at a unknown, family owned dining establishment are tried out by, you guessed it, the adventurous.  Most diners are comfortable with what they know and that's it; but if a name brand, chain eatery says "Eat this!", well they jump on it.  Simple fact.

Food magazines have jumped on the pretzel bun wagon as well; Food Network Magazine has had two large articles printed about making pretzels, and what you can do with them bun wise, twice since the fad began.  Even the supermarkets and Walmart are selling packages of store made, or shipped in from a factory made, pretzel buns in their bakery department.  One thing I am happy about though, I miss the warm, soft pretzels I used to get at the farmers' markets in Pennsylvania.  Oh sure, you can buy those frozen ones and either warm them in the oven, or microwave them, but in my opinion, the store can keep them.  When I buy the pretzel buns, I warm them up a little and put spicy brown mustard over them, just like I used to do with those pretzels in PA.  Now that is a snack!!!

Anyway, if you need to jump on the pretzel bun bandwagon, let me give you something simple you can make right at home.  That is if you can find pretzel buns in your store, or have the baking skills to make them yourself.  Instead of using simple hotdogs though, I'm going all out and using Johnsonville brats; they're all good, but I used beer brats for this demonstration.  Ok, I know there are plenty of guys out there now, brats, pretzels buns...I love this woman!  Sorry guys, I'm happily married, but thanks for the compliments.

Starting out with simplistic, Beer Brat on a Pretzel Bun with Spicy Brown Mustard.  Hmmm, next time I'm going to add some heated up sauerkraut; bet that would be awesome!

Sonic has their hotdogs, I've got...Beer Brat on a Pretzel Bun with melted Cheddar Cheese and Crumbled Bacon.  Yeah, I was in a rush when I did this, so next time I'm wrapping up the brats in the bacon, then roasting them.  Of course I'll still put the crumbled bacon on the melted cheese; you can never have too much bacon.

Last, but definitely not least...Beer Brat on a Pretzel Bun with sautéed Peppers and Onions.  Want a little kick, do what I did and use chile peppers instead of bell peppers. 

There you go, a great brat eating experience using the pretzel bun fad; all in the privacy of your own home.  Enjoy!

Mary Cokenour