Ever since I read this post over at words to eat by, I've had a hankering for Pennsauken Mart pretzels. I immediately forwarded a link to the post to Perfect Tommy, who promptly checked them out on one of his wandering trips. He has wandered past the location before, and suspects that the universe was trying to guide him to the pretzel mart. In any case, the pretzels earned the Perfect Tommy Seal of Approval and I became even more interested in checking them out.
A few weeks ago, we stopped at a Gaetano's in the same strip mall but the pretzel mart, alas, was closed. But on Sunday, we headed down to the southwest corner of Jersey again. The ostensible reason for this trip was a small flock of Brewer's Blackbirds that has set up shop on Supawna Rd. in Salem County, but a major subtext was pretzel desire. We lunched at a Wendy's and repaired to the pretzel mart for dessert. Lo, it was open. If there had been any doubt, the people sitting in their cars in the parking lot and eating pretzels would've removed the doubt.
I have to admit that I have not made an extensive study of fresh soft pretzels. Most of my pretzel experience comes from those brittle little sticks you find in bags at the supermarket. Given that, these pretzels really were a revelation. Hot out of the oven, meltingly soft, studded with salt like sesame seeds on the crust. God, were they good. I had one immediately and saved one for later in the afternoon. By then the crust had hardened, but the inside was almost as soft as ever. A wonderful snack for any occasion, but particularly excellent finger food for birding.
Thanks for the tip, Debbie!