Where do Pretzels Come From?
Farm-to-table is a big buzz phrase these days in the specialty food industry. Increasingly consumers want to know the origins of the foods they are eating and at Pretzel Pete we are happy to let you peek behind the curtain and see where our seasoned pretzels come from.
Wheat flour is, by far, the most prominent ingredient in our pretzels. For Exhibit A one needs to look further than the only flour. As you can guess, the flour is derived from wheat which conjures up images of the proverbial “amber waves of grain” mostly associated with the Midwestern farm belt in the United States. What surprises many people is that the US east coast is also a major supplier of wheat; primarily a derivative called soft red winter wheat.
But how does soft red winter wheat from the fields end up in our Pretzel Pete pretzels? That is where wheat flour comes in. Last week I visited our supplier of the wheat flour used in our pretzels to better understand the production process. All of the wheat flour used in Pretzel Pete pretzels comes from a sixth generation family mill by the name of F.M Brown & Sons.
Since the late 1880’s the Brown family (no relation by the way!!) has been milling wheat into flour at their mill in Fleetwood, Pennsylvania. During my visit, I was able to observe wheat being delivered straight from the farmers’ trucks and going through the milling process until the white wheat flour is pumped into tanker trucks heading off to our bakery.
We are proud to have F.M. Brown & Sons as one of our partners. With six generations of family experience, they have excellent relationships with their local farmers and know their business thoroughly. They are an important part of the Pretzel Pete story and one that we are proud to share.