Some of the people who like Mangalitsa pork and lambic-style beers like pretzels of the sort you find in Central Europe - because they've eaten them while traveling.
I don't mean pretzels as sold in America - but rather, ones like what you buy in Germany. I have fond memories of being at one of Germany's best breweries, sitting outside under trees, talking with friends, drinking excellent beer and eating excellent pretzels.
I've had nothing in America that comes close.
Anyway, I saw that an American (of Swabian origin) has been nice enough to put recipes for real pretzels - the sort that require lye - on the web.
If anyone in the Seattle area is willing to bake me some pretzels this way, I'm willing to trade you some Mangalitsa pork for it.
I was prompted to make this post today because I saw a guy selling pretzels today. They didn't look right. They looked a bit like these (too light-colored). He explained that they are made with baking soda.
I've got no tolerance for a bad version of a European classic - particularly when it is possible to make the real deal without having to do much work. Unlike with the pigs, you don't need to import German flour, yeast or lye to make a real pretzel - all you need is will.