A pretzel is a type of baked bread product made from dough most shaped into a twisted knot. The traditional pretzel shape is a distinctive nonsymmetrical form, with the ends of a long strip of dough intertwined and twisted back into itself in a certain way. In modern times, pretzels come in a range of different shapes. Salt is the most common seasoning for pretzels, complementing the washing soda or lye treatment that gives pretzels their traditional skin and flavor through the Maillard reaction. There are several varieties of pretzels, including soft pretzels, which must be eaten shortly after preparation, hard-baked pretzels, which have a long shelf life. Pretzels originated in Europe centuries before Christ's birth, although popular stories claim that the pretzel was invented by a monk to represent arms crossed in prayer to the Trinity. There are numerous unreliable accounts regarding the origin of pretzels, as well as the origin of the name. According to legend, as cited by several sources, including The History of Science and Technology, by Bryan Bunch and Alexander Hellemans, in 610 AD "...
N Italian monk invents pretzels as a reward to children. He calls the strips of baked dough, folded to resemble arms crossing the chest,'pretiola'". However, there is no known historical evidence to verify this claim. Another source locates the invention in a monastery in southern France. In Germany, there are stories that pretzels were the invention of desperate bakers held hostage by local dignitaries; however popular these stories have been, the pretzel's origin is pagan, pre-dates Christianity. Meyers Konversations-Lexikon from 1905 speculated that the origin of pretzels came in a ban of heathen baking traditions, such as in the form of a sun cross, at the Synod of Estinnes in the year 743; the pretzel may have emerged as a substitute. Modern scholars identify it as a symbol of human sacrifice to a Celtic water deity named Sirona; the three holes in the pretzel represent the nooses used to kill the three people during the sacrifice. The German name "Brezel" may derive from Latin bracellus, or bracchiola.
The pretzel has been in use as an emblem of bakers and their guilds in southern German areas since at least the 12th century. A 12th-century illustration in the Hortus deliciarum from the southwest German Alsace region may contain the earliest depiction of a pretzel. Within the Christian Church, pretzels were regarded as having religious significance for both ingredients and shape. Pretzels made with a simple recipe using only flour and water could be eaten during Lent when Christians were forbidden to eat eggs, lard, or dairy products such as milk and butter; as time passed, pretzels became associated with both Easter. Pretzels were hidden on Easter morning just as eggs are hidden today, are associated with Lent and prayers before Easter. Like the holes in the hubs of round Swedish flat bread, the loops in pretzels may have served a practical purpose: bakers could hang them on sticks, for instance, projecting upwards from a central column, as shown in a painting by Job Berckheyde from around 1681.
Pretzel baking has most taken root in the region of Franconia and adjoining Upper German-speaking areas, pretzels have been an integral part of German baking traditions for centuries. Lye pretzels are popular in southern Germany, Alsace and German-speaking Switzerland as a variety of bread, a side dish or a snack, come in many local varieties; every region and city has its own way of baking them. Examples for pretzel names in various Upper-German dialects are Breze, Bretzel, Brezgen, Bretzet, Kringel, Sülzerli. Baked for consumption on the same day, they are sold in every bakery and in special booths or stands in downtown streets, they are sliced horizontally and sold as Butterbrezel, or come with slices of cold meats or cheese. Sesame, sunflower, pumpkin, or caraway seeds, melted cheese, bacon bits are other popular toppings; some bakeries offer pretzels made of different flours, such as whole rye or spelt. In Bavaria, lye pretzels accompany a main dish, such as Weisswurst sausage; the same dough and baking procedure with lye and salt is used to make other kinds of "lye pastry": lye rolls, buns and loaves.
Yet, in some parts of Bavaria in lower Bavaria, unglazed "white" pretzels, sprinkled with salt and caraway seeds are still popular. With the same ingredients, lye pretzels come in numerous local varieties. Sizes are similar. Typical Swabian pretzels, for example, have thin "arms" and a "fat belly" with a split, a higher fat content; the thicker part makes it easier to slice them for the use of sandwiches. In Bavarian pretzels, the arms are left thicker so they do not bake to a crisp and contain little fat; the pretzel shape is used for a variety of sweet pastries made of different types of dough with a variety of toppings. Around Christmas, they can be made of soft gingerbread with chocolate coating. In southern Germany and adjoining German-speaking areas, pretzels have retained their original religious meanings and
Germany the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north, the Alps to the south. It borders Denmark to the north and the Czech Republic to the east and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, Luxembourg and the Netherlands to the west. Germany includes 16 constituent states, covers an area of 357,386 square kilometres, has a temperate seasonal climate. With 83 million inhabitants, it is the second most populous state of Europe after Russia, the most populous state lying in Europe, as well as the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany is a decentralized country, its capital and largest metropolis is Berlin, while Frankfurt serves as its financial capital and has the country's busiest airport. Germany's largest urban area is the Ruhr, with its main centres of Essen; the country's other major cities are Hamburg, Cologne, Stuttgart, Düsseldorf, Dresden, Bremen and Nuremberg. Various Germanic tribes have inhabited the northern parts of modern Germany since classical antiquity.
A region named Germania was documented before 100 AD. During the Migration Period, the Germanic tribes expanded southward. Beginning in the 10th century, German territories formed a central part of the Holy Roman Empire. During the 16th century, northern German regions became the centre of the Protestant Reformation. After the collapse of the Holy Roman Empire, the German Confederation was formed in 1815; the German revolutions of 1848–49 resulted in the Frankfurt Parliament establishing major democratic rights. In 1871, Germany became a nation state when most of the German states unified into the Prussian-dominated German Empire. After World War I and the revolution of 1918–19, the Empire was replaced by the parliamentary Weimar Republic; the Nazi seizure of power in 1933 led to the establishment of a dictatorship, the annexation of Austria, World War II, the Holocaust. After the end of World War II in Europe and a period of Allied occupation, Austria was re-established as an independent country and two new German states were founded: West Germany, formed from the American and French occupation zones, East Germany, formed from the Soviet occupation zone.
Following the Revolutions of 1989 that ended communist rule in Central and Eastern Europe, the country was reunified on 3 October 1990. Today, the sovereign state of Germany is a federal parliamentary republic led by a chancellor, it is a great power with a strong economy. As a global leader in several industrial and technological sectors, it is both the world's third-largest exporter and importer of goods; as a developed country with a high standard of living, it upholds a social security and universal health care system, environmental protection, a tuition-free university education. The Federal Republic of Germany was a founding member of the European Economic Community in 1957 and the European Union in 1993, it is part of the Schengen Area and became a co-founder of the Eurozone in 1999. Germany is a member of the United Nations, NATO, the G7, the G20, the OECD. Known for its rich cultural history, Germany has been continuously the home of influential and successful artists, musicians, film people, entrepreneurs, scientists and inventors.
Germany has a large number of World Heritage sites and is among the top tourism destinations in the world. The English word Germany derives from the Latin Germania, which came into use after Julius Caesar adopted it for the peoples east of the Rhine; the German term Deutschland diutisciu land is derived from deutsch, descended from Old High German diutisc "popular" used to distinguish the language of the common people from Latin and its Romance descendants. This in turn descends from Proto-Germanic *þiudiskaz "popular", derived from *þeudō, descended from Proto-Indo-European *tewtéh₂- "people", from which the word Teutons originates; the discovery of the Mauer 1 mandible shows that ancient humans were present in Germany at least 600,000 years ago. The oldest complete hunting weapons found anywhere in the world were discovered in a coal mine in Schöningen between 1994 and 1998 where eight 380,000-year-old wooden javelins of 1.82 to 2.25 m length were unearthed. The Neander Valley was the location where the first non-modern human fossil was discovered.
The Neanderthal 1 fossils are known to be 40,000 years old. Evidence of modern humans dated, has been found in caves in the Swabian Jura near Ulm; the finds included 42,000-year-old bird bone and mammoth ivory flutes which are the oldest musical instruments found, the 40,000-year-old Ice Age Lion Man, the oldest uncontested figurative art discovered, the 35,000-year-old Venus of Hohle Fels, the oldest uncontested human figurative art discovered. The Nebra sky disk is a bronze artefact created during the European Bronze Age attributed to a site near Nebra, Saxony-Anhalt, it is part of UNESCO's Memory of the World Programme. The Germanic tribes are thought to date from the Pre-Roman Iron Age. From southern Scandinavia and north Germany, they expanded south and west from the 1st century BC, coming into contact with the Celtic tribes of Gaul as well
Wachsenburggemeinde is a former municipality in the district Ilm-Kreis, in Thuringia, Germany. The municipality was named after the Wachsenburg Castle, located in its center, it consisted of the five villages named Bittstädt, Holzhausen, Röhrensee, Sülzenbrücken. Since 31 December 2012, it is part of the municipality Amt Wachsenburg
Meat is animal flesh, eaten as food. Humans have killed animals for meat since prehistoric times; the advent of civilization allowed the domestication of animals such as chickens, rabbits and cattle. This led to their use in meat production on an industrial scale with the aid of slaughterhouses. Meat is composed of water and fat, it is edible raw, but is eaten after it has been cooked and seasoned or processed in a variety of ways. Unprocessed meat will spoil or rot within hours or days as a result of infection with and decomposition by bacteria and fungi. Meat is important in economy and culture though its mass production and consumption has been determined to pose risks for human health and the environment. Many religions have rules about which meat may not be eaten. Vegetarians may abstain from eating meat because of concerns about the ethics of eating meat, environmental effects of meat production or nutritional effects of consumption; the word meat comes from the Old English word mete. The term is related to mad in Danish, mat in Swedish and Norwegian, matur in Icelandic and Faroese, which mean'food'.
The word mete exists in Old Frisian to denote important food, differentiating it from swiets and dierfied. Most meat refers to skeletal muscle and associated fat and other tissues, but it may describe other edible tissues such as offal. Meat is sometimes used in a more restrictive sense to mean the flesh of mammalian species raised and prepared for human consumption, to the exclusion of fish, other seafood, poultry, or other animals. In the context of food, meat can refer to "the edible part of something as distinguished from its covering", for example, coconut meat. Paleontological evidence suggests that meat constituted a substantial proportion of the diet of the earliest humans. Early hunter-gatherers depended on the organized hunting of large animals such as bison and deer; the domestication of animals, of which we have evidence dating back to the end of the last glacial period, allowed the systematic production of meat and the breeding of animals with a view to improving meat production.
Animals that are now principal sources of meat were domesticated in conjunction with the development of early civilizations: Sheep, originating from western Asia, were domesticated with the help of dogs prior to the establishment of settled agriculture as early as the 8th millennium BCE. Several breeds of sheep were established in ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt by 3500–3000 BCE. Today, more than 200 sheep-breeds exist. Cattle were domesticated in Mesopotamia after settled agriculture was established about 5000 BCE, several breeds were established by 2500 BCE. Modern domesticated cattle fall into the groups Bos taurus and Bos taurus indicus, both descended from the now-extinct aurochs; the breeding of beef cattle, cattle optimized for meat production as opposed to animals best suited for work or dairy purposes, began in the middle of the 18th century. Domestic pigs, which are descended from wild boars, are known to have existed about 2500 BCE in modern-day Hungary and in Troy. Pork sausages and hams were of great commercial importance in Greco-Roman times.
Pigs continue to be bred intensively as they are being optimized to produce meat best suited for specific meat products. Other animals have been raised or hunted for their flesh; the type of meat consumed varies much between different cultures, changes over time, depending on factors such as tradition and the availability of the animals. The amount and kind of meat consumed varies by income, both between countries and within a given country. Horses are eaten in France, Italy and Japan, among other countries. Horses and other large mammals such as reindeer were hunted during the late Paleolithic in western Europe. Dogs are consumed in South Korea and Vietnam. Dogs are occasionally eaten in the Arctic regions. Dog meat has been consumed in various parts of the world, such as Hawaii, Japan and Mexico. Cats are consumed in Southern China and sometimes in Northern Italy. Guinea pigs are raised for their flesh in the Andes. Whales and dolphins are hunted for their flesh, in Japan, Siberia, the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and by two small communities in Indonesia.
Modern agriculture employs a number of techniques, such as progeny testing, to speed artificial selection by breeding animals to acquire the qualities desired by meat producers. For instance, in the wake of well-publicised health concerns associated with saturated fats in the 1980s, the fat content of United Kingdom beef and lamb fell from 20–26 percent to 4–8 percent within a few decades, due to both selective breeding for leanness and changed methods of butchery. Methods of genetic engineering aimed at improving the meat production qualities of animals are now becoming available. Though it is a old industry, meat production continues to be shaped by the evolving demands of customers; the trend towards selling meat in pre-packaged cuts has increased the demand for larger breeds of cattle, which are better suited to producing such cuts. More animals not exploited for their meat are now being farmed the more agile and mobile species, whose muscles tend to be developed better than those of cattle, sheep or pigs.
Examples are the various antelope species, the zebra, water buffalo and camel, as well as non-
Franconia is a region in southern Germany, characterised by its culture and language, may be associated with the areas in which the East Franconian dialect group, colloquially referred to as "Franconian", is spoken. Because of this, the region can be associated with the three administrative regions of Lower and Upper Franconia in the state of Bavaria. Part of the cultural region of Franconia are the adjacent Franconian-speaking region of South Thuringia, as well as Heilbronn-Franconia in the state of Baden-Württemberg, small parts of the state of Hesse; the German word Franken refers to the ethnic group of Franconians. They are to be distinguished from the Germanic tribe of the Franks, of whom they are but one descendant; the origins of Franconia as a cultural region begins with the settlement of Franks in the Main river area from the 6th century onwards becoming known as East Francia. In the Middle Ages the region formed much of the eastern part of the Duchy of Franconia and, beginning in 1500, the Franconian Circle.
After the demise of the Holy Roman Empire following the Napoleonic Wars and the subsequent German mediatisation, most of Franconia was placed under administration of the emerging Kingdom of Bavaria. The German name for Franconia, comes from the dative plural form of Franke, a member of the Germanic tribe known as the Franks; the name of the Franks in turn derives from a word meaning "daring, bold", cognate with old Norwegian frakkr, "quick, bold". In the 9th century the realm of the Franks was divided; the German region of Franconia corresponds to the region along the river Main, the original territory of the Ripuarian Franks. English distinguishes between Franks and Franconians in reference to the high medieval stem duchy, following Middle Latin use of Francia for France vs. Franconia for the German duchy, while in German the name Franken is used for both, while the French are called Franzosen, after Old French françois, from Latin franciscus, from Late Latin Francus, from Frank, the Germanic tribe.
The Franconian lands lie principally in Bavaria and south of the sinuous River Main which, together with the left Regnitz tributary, including its Rednitz and Pegnitz headstreams, drains most of Franconia. Other large rivers include the upper Werra in Thuringia and the Tauber, as well as the upper Jagst and Kocher streams in the west, both right tributaries of the Neckar. In southern Middle Franconia, the Altmühl flows towards the Danube; the man-made Franconian Lake District has become a popular destination for day-trippers and tourists. The landscape is characterized by numerous Mittelgebirge ranges of the German Central Uplands; the Western natural border of Franconia is formed by the Spessart and Rhön Mountains, separating it from the former Rhenish Franconian lands around Aschaffenburg, whose inhabitants speak Hessian dialects. To the north rise the Rennsteig ridge of the Thuringian Forest, the Thuringian Highland and the Franconian Forest, the border with the Upper Saxon lands of Thuringia.
The Franconian lands include the present-day South Thuringian districts of Schmalkalden-Meiningen and Sonneberg, the historical Gau of Grabfeld, held by the House of Henneberg from the 11th century and part of the Wettin duchy of Saxe-Meiningen. In the east, the Fichtel Mountains lead to Vogtland, Bohemian Egerland in the Czech Republic, the Bavarian Upper Palatinate; the hills of the Franconian Jura in the south mark the border with the Upper Bavarian region, historical Swabia, the Danube basin. The northern parts of the Upper Bavarian Eichstätt District, territory of the historical Bishopric of Eichstätt, are counted as part of Franconia. In the west, Franconia proper comprises the Tauber Franconia region along the Tauber river, which As of 2014 is part of the Main-Tauber-Kreis in Baden-Württemberg; the state's larger Heilbronn-Franken region includes the adjacent Hohenlohe and Schwäbisch Hall districts. In the city of Heilbronn, beyond the Haller Ebene plateau, South Franconian dialects are spoken.
Furthermore, in those easternmost parts of the Neckar-Odenwald-Kreis which had belonged to the Bishopric of Würzburg, the inhabitants have preserved their Franconian identity. Franconian areas in East Hesse along Spessart and Rhön comprise Ehrenberg; the two largest cities of Franconia are Würzburg. Though located on the southeastern periphery of the area, the Nuremberg metropolitan area is identified as the economic and cultural centre of Franconia. Further cities in Bavarian Franconia include Fürth, Bayreuth, Aschaffenburg, Hof, Coburg and Schwabach; the major Franconian towns in Baden-Württemberg are Schwäbisch Hall on the Kocher — the imperial city declared itself "Swabian" in 1442 — and Crailsheim on the Jagst river. The main towns in Thuringia are Meiningen. Franconia may be distinguished from the regions that surround it by its peculiar historical factors and its cultural and linguistic characteristics, but it is not a political entity with a fixed or defined area; as a result, it is debated.
Pointers to a more precise definition of Franconia's boundaries include: the territories covered by the former Duchy of Franconia and former Franconian Circle, the range of the East Franconian dialect group, the common culture and history of the region and the use of the Franconian Rake on coats of arms and seals. However, a sense of popular consciousness of being Fran
Bavaria the Free State of Bavaria, is a landlocked federal state of Germany, occupying its southeastern corner. With an area of 70,550.19 square kilometres, Bavaria is the largest German state by land area comprising a fifth of the total land area of Germany. With 13 million inhabitants, it is Germany's second-most-populous state after North Rhine-Westphalia. Bavaria's main cities are Nuremberg; the history of Bavaria includes its earliest settlement by Iron Age Celtic tribes, followed by the conquests of the Roman Empire in the 1st century BC, when the territory was incorporated into the provinces of Raetia and Noricum. It became a stem duchy in the 6th century AD following the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, it was incorporated into the Holy Roman Empire, became an independent kingdom, joined the Prussian-led German Empire while retaining its title of kingdom, became a state of the Federal Republic of Germany. The Duchy of Bavaria dates back to the year 555. In the 17th century AD, the Duke of Bavaria became a Prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire.
The Kingdom of Bavaria existed from 1806 to 1918. In 1946, the Free State of Bavaria re-organised itself on democratic lines after the Second World War. Bavaria has a unique culture because of the state's Catholic majority and conservative traditions. Bavarians have traditionally been proud of their culture, which includes a language, architecture, festivals such as Oktoberfest and elements of Alpine symbolism; the state has the second largest economy among the German states by GDP figures, giving it a status as a rather wealthy German region. Modern Bavaria includes parts of the historical regions of Franconia and Swabia; the Bavarians emerged in a region north of the Alps inhabited by Celts, part of the Roman provinces of Raetia and Noricum. The Bavarians spoke Old High German, unlike other Germanic groups, they did not migrate from elsewhere. Rather, they seem to have coalesced out of other groups left behind by the Roman withdrawal late in the 5th century; these peoples may have included the Celtic Boii, some remaining Romans, Allemanni, Thuringians, Scirians, Heruli.
The name "Bavarian" means "Men of Baia" which may indicate Bohemia, the homeland of the Celtic Boii and of the Marcomanni. They first appear in written sources circa 520. A 17th century Jewish chronicler David Solomon Ganz, citing Cyriacus Spangenberg, claimed that the diocese was named after an ancient Bohemian king, Boiia, in the 14th century BC. From about 554 to 788, the house of Agilolfing ruled the Duchy of Bavaria, ending with Tassilo III, deposed by Charlemagne. Three early dukes are named in Frankish sources: Garibald I may have been appointed to the office by the Merovingian kings and married the Lombard princess Walderada when the church forbade her to King Chlothar I in 555, their daughter, became Queen of the Lombards in northern Italy and Garibald was forced to flee to her when he fell out with his Frankish overlords. Garibald's successor, Tassilo I, tried unsuccessfully to hold the eastern frontier against the expansion of Slavs and Avars around 600. Tassilo's son Garibald II seems to have achieved a balance of power between 610 and 616.
After Garibald II little is known of the Bavarians until Duke Theodo I, whose reign may have begun as early as 680. From 696 onwards he invited churchmen from the west to organize churches and strengthen Christianity in his duchy, his son, led a decisive Bavarian campaign to intervene in a succession dispute in the Lombard Kingdom in 714, married his sister Guntrud to the Lombard King Liutprand. At Theodo's death the duchy was reunited under his grandson Hugbert. At Hugbert's death the duchy passed from neighboring Alemannia. Odilo issued a law code for Bavaria, completed the process of church organization in partnership with St. Boniface, tried to intervene in Frankish succession disputes by fighting for the claims of the Carolingian Grifo, he was defeated near Augsburg in 743 but continued to rule until his death in 748. Saint Boniface completed the people's conversion to Christianity in the early 8th century. Tassilo III succeeded his father at the age of eight after an unsuccessful attempt by Grifo to rule Bavaria.
He ruled under Frankish oversight but began to function independently from 763 onwards. He was noted for founding new monasteries and for expanding eastwards, fighting Slavs in the eastern Alps and along the River Danube and colonising these lands. After 781, his cousin Charlemagne began to pressure Tassilo to submit and deposed him in 788; the deposition was not legitimate. Dissenters attempted a coup against Charlemagne at Tassilo's old capital of Regensburg in 792, led by his own son Pépin the Hunchback; the king had to drag Tassilo out of imprisonment to formally renounce his rights and titles at the Assembly of Frankfurt in 794. This is the last appearance of Tassilo in the sources, he died a monk; as all of his family were forced into monasteries, this was the end of the Agilolfing dynasty. For the next 400 years numerous families held the duchy for more than three generations. With the revolt of duke Henry the Quarrelsome in 976, Bavaria lost large territories in the south and