Soft pretzels made the old-fashioned way, dipped in lye and sprinkled with salt, make the best tasting pretzels.
In earlier times before the population was mostly literate, pictographic signs explained at a glance what the shop sold. Walk down the street in any small town in Germany and you will find a wooden sign hanging perpendicular to the road. A pretzel like this one in Ulm, Germany, shows you where to find the local bakery. Pretzels are one of the most beloved bakery items, especially in southern Germany, and are not easily mistaken for other wares, making it a universal baker's symbol.
There are many different stories about how the pretzel was invented.