Monday, July 5, 2010

The Cheesesteak Pretzel

Most Americans, at least, have heard of the Philly cheesesteak, an anti-circulatory system blend of a good Italian bread roll, thinly sliced steak, and orange cheese that is unique to the area in which I live.

Well, now there's a new twist; the Cheesesteak Pretzel. The meat and cheese remain the same, but are stuffed inside a lump of soft pretzel--itself another regional delicacy.

Stuffed breads, of course, are nothing new to the history of food.  The subcontinent of India features a number of stuffed breads.  The Italian calzone (also common here, due to our large several-generation-spanning Italian immigrant population) embodies the same idea, as do pasties, a meal-for-one sized meat pie still found in parts of the American Midwest and elsewhere that has its roots in Cornish cuisine and appears to go back at least as far as the 16th century. But the Cheesesteak Pretzel is remarkable for seamlessly combining two regional delicacies in one extremely filling lump of food.

EDIT: (10/27/2018) Changed the link because the old one now leads to a web URL that's up for sale.

EDIT #2: (10/27/2018) Added a video showing Cheesesteak Pretzels being made by a business in Reading Terminal Market--a food center of Philadelphia.

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