PRETZELS AS THE NEW BAGEL
Alexis Faraci, the owner of the Bronx Baking Co., is passionate about creating high-quality authentic Bavarian pretzels, right here in the Bronx. As a Mott Haven resident, she’s seen first-hand the ever-expanding craft beverage corner erupting in neighboring Port Morris.
“If you’re going to have a high-quality beer you should serve something authentic with it—and beer and pretzels go together like peanut butter and jelly,” she says. Noting two reasons for that happy pairing: “It’s salt. There is something nice about pairing something hoppy with something salty. And it keeps you in your seat longer, it’s a good base coat for beer.”
The Swabian pretzel comes from the Bavarian region of southeast Germany, known for “its fat bottom and skinny arms” that allow for the pretzel to be equal parts crunchy and soft—perfect for tearing and sharing.
Faraci says she fell into pretzel making as she followed the craft beer movement and noticed that the stateside pretzel game was severely lacking. Having spent a good amount of time in Bavaria, Germany, with friends who live abroad, Faraci appreciated the baking tradition.
“In Germany pretzels and pretzel bread are served with everything,” she says. “Germans eat pretzels the way New Yorkers eat bagels; it’s something that’s just everywhere.” As a newbie to baking and pretzel making, Faraci dove headfirst into the craft of hand rolled pretzels.
Now more than ever, the demand is growing. “We’re talking about the craft beer movement, people are putting a lot of energy and thought into brewing great beer,” she says. “Their customers really appreciate it and are becoming beer connoisseurs.” Currently, Bronx Baking Co. products can be found at beer halls and gardens in Brooklyn and Manhattan, as well as our Bronx-based beer hot spots: Gun Hill Brewery, The Bronx Brewery, and The Bronx Beer Hall.
Words by Amanda Celestino. Photos Courtesy of Alexis Faraci