But it is new to the masses who subsist mainly on a drive-thru diet, and like Angus before it, the word "pretzel" has become a false signifier of quality. It's the same Dunkin' Donuts meat slapped on that buttery brown bun, but because it's made with something unfamiliar to most, it looks fancier. The same thing happened with ciabatta back in the day. People went nuts, then switched back to white bread. Probably because it's no fun to see if you can eat two slices of ciabatta in two minutes without a drink of any kind.
Has this wave crested? Hardly. Wendy's just launched its deceptively beer-less Pretzel Pub Chicken Sandwich. The other day, I spotted a billboard for TA truck stop's new pretzel slop.