What Critics Have To Say
Martins Pretzels on Food TV
2003 New York City Marketplace
Greenmarket groupies agree it's "worth salting away your pocket change" (and it doesn't take much) for these "rock-hard uber-pretzels" whose "perfect toasty taste" and "addictive" crispness mean for many they're "the only ones worth eating"
Quality: "excellent to perfection"
Martin's pretzels are to Mr. Pretzel what a BMW is to a Yugo.
These pretzels are so good they satisfy even my very picky oldest brother. They are crunchy and flavorful and are made of nothing but flour, water, yeast, and salt.
What's New: Special Pretzels
By Mindy Heiferling
Crunchy, plump and full of toasty flavor, Martin's Pretzels are superb. Made by Mennonites in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, these special pretzels are prepared completely by hand. Hand-rolling results in uneven air holes, and the difference in texture between Martin's and machine-made pretzels is like that between commercial white bread and a good French country loaf.
Hold The Sugarplums!
Visions of Foie Gras
By Mimi Sheraton
Now clear your tastebuds with crunchingly crisp, palate-scrubbing Martin's Handmade Pretzels, which are local favorites at Greenmarkets....They are best lightly salted, but the sodium-conscious can have them salt-free. They are even better spread with sweet butter or as a foil for aged cheddar cheese.
If pretzels are symbolic of Lent, as George Armelagos, a food anthropologist at the University of Massachusetts, said recently, then we may eat as many as we want for the next few weeks.
New York is a notable pretzel city with soft-pretzel vendors on every other midtown street corner, but some of the best pretzels in New York are crunchy ones from Pennsylvania — Martin's Hand-Made Pretzels, available in the Greenmarkets...crisp, plump, dark-brown pretzels...[that] Alfred Milanese said "Martin's are the Rolls Royce of the pretzel world."
"...it is simply delightful to have my big hoard of handmade pretzels, and I thank you ever so much...everybody who has had one has raved."
The Crunch Is On!
By Suzanne Hamlin
Pretzels may just be stomach stuffers to some, but to Alfred Milanese they are works of art — filled with history, traditions, craftsmanship and many human stories. Milanese is the man who is trying to slavage handmade pretzels in America and, by all accounts, doing a pretty good job.
Pretzel lovers will respond immediately ... fat and crisp, with a deep pretzel taste.
The pretzel man...has found that if New Yorkers do not live by pretzels alone, perhaps they would like to. "The response has been terrific," says Alfred Milanese who, every week.....
Hands down the most popular stand in the market
... for two reasons. The first, obviously, is the product. These are outstanding pretzels, made unbelievably crisp because they contain no oil, which most pretzel makers use to make dough easier to work with.
Lancaster may be the snack-food capital of the world. "There are entire aisles in our supermarkets devoted just to potato chips, pretzels, and arcane kinds of cheese doodles," says Jon Lowden. But even he's surprised how on a clear day they can sell over 500 pounds of the twisters. That may also be due to reason number two. Lowden and co-workers have become the heartthrobs of Union Square. There are women who walk up to the stand and wouldn't know it if they were handed beef jerky. The guys claim ignorance of the phenomenon and blush very easily when reminded of it. Reports are that this only makes it worse.
When It's Time for Pretzels and Beer
"These are the best pretzels in the United States," says Alfred Milanese..."They are entirely handmade by Mennonite women-hand-rolled, hand-twisted and hand-tied — so they are filed with small air holes. That's why they're so crunchy and irresistible." These superb pretzels are dark-brown, crusty and sprinkled with diamond-like salt flakes.... My favorite was to serve them: with a stein of nonalcoholic beer.
By Jeffrey Steingarten
Speaking of the Pennsylvania Dutch, the Martins are a Mennonite family who have grown famous in these parts for their wonderfully crisp hand-twisted, hand-baked salted pretzels. Sold at Manhattan's Union Square Greenmarket. Now, for the first time, Martins' handmade Pretzels will be shipped to you by UPS....
Why are so many New York women eating so many pretzels?
"Like many women who frequent the Union Square Greenmarket, I've got a big crush on the handsome guys who sell Martin's Handmade Pennsylvania Dutch Pretzels there. Clad in worn Levi's, faded T-shirts, and work boots, they look tousled and rustic, as if theyve just rolled in on a tractor from Amish country. I've eaten more than my share of pretzels just to get a good look at them.
"When I realized that women across the city were equally obsessed with these strapping lads, I knew I had to talk to them. Here's what I found out: 1) None of the guys lives on a farm. Alfred, Jon, and Joe live in Manhattan; Darryl lives in Riverdale. But they do spend a lot of time in Pennsylvania. 2) They do not roll the pretzels themselves. This work is primarily done by white-capped Mennonite women who ride their bicycles to Martin's bakery. 3) Each salesman has a fan club. All week long they receive notes with phone numbers, invitations, and flowers from adoring customers. Sample note: I can't eat another pretzel. What about lunch?" 4) Darryl has dated more than seven customers, and sometimes, he says, things get sticky: "One woman came up to hand me a love letter as another was asking me for a ride on my motorbike." 5) The others try to keep it light and have been known to bend Alfred's no-sunglasses rule (they detract from eye contact with customers) and hide behind shades. "Sometimes all those meaningful glances take a lot out of you," says Jon.
Those who snack in times of stress will find no finer hard pretzels than the hand-twisted beauties from Martin's
How could nothing but flour, water, yeast and salt taste so darn good?
And On The Big and Little Screens
Tom Hanks eats Martin's Pretzels.
"Sex and the City"
Critical Condition Episode 6, August 2002. Sarah Jessica Parker eats Martin's Pretzels too!
Copyright 2013 Alfred Milanese