25.08.2022, Baden-Württemberg, Bad Urach: Bundesernährungsminister Cem Özdemir (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen) zeigt auf dem Marktplatz seines Geburtsorts nach dem Besuch einer Bäckerei eine Brezel. Foto: Marijan Murat/dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

The pretzel is to become a UNESCO intangible cultural heritage. The Baden-Württemberg bakers’ guild first applied to place the traditional craft of pretzel baking on the national list of candidates for intangible cultural heritage. Federal Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir (Greens) said on Thursday in Bad Urach in Baden-Württemberg that he supported the project.

“I am committed to ensuring that it becomes a transnational initiative.” Because the pretzel is also available in Bavaria, Austria, Switzerland and Alsace. Bavaria’s Agriculture Minister Michaela Kaniber (CSU) is impressed by the project. He has already had talks with his colleagues in Austria and France.

The traditional German brewing trade and bread baking are already intangible cultural heritage. For Özdemir it is clear: “The best pretzel is Swabian. At his first on-site appointment as minister in his old home town of Bad Urach in the Swabian Jura, the 56-year-old Green said about the pretzel competition: “Bavarians believe that their pretzels are the best, and we know that ours is the best.”

The difference: Swabian pretzels usually have thinner arms than Bavarian pretzels, are cut in the stomach and have a higher fat content, according to the bakers’ guild.

With Özdemir, of course, there is a portion of local patriotism. According to legend, a court baker from Urach invented the pretzel in 1477 in fear of death.

Count Eberhard wanted to let the baker hang because of a crime, but he gave him another chance: If he managed to bake a piece of bread within three days that the sun shines through three times, his life should be spared. It succeeded. However, it is historically disputed where the first pretzel was.

During the visit to the BeckaBeck bakery, Özdemir practiced looping the pretzel. “Open your eyes when choosing a career,” joked the Green on the first try.

In Berlin, good pretzels are “difficult to find”, regretted the minister, who is being traded in the southwest as a potential successor to Green Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann (74). (dpa)