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Sunday Brunch

Sunday Brunchies and Crunchies: Pretzel Philosophy

29 January 2012

Through a happy accident, loyal readers may have noticed the past several weeks have been about Disney theme park snacks, and aside from Maurice's Popcorn for Beauty and the Beast week, they have all been Mickey Mouse themed. In continuing with this month's tradition, we bring you one of the newest Mickey Mouse treats: the Mickey Mouse pretzel!

Out of all the Disney snack foods, I've tended to stay away from pretzels. Even if my stomach rumbles at the sight of those golden brown pretzels sprinkled with a coarse salt as they spin in the soft light, I reason with myself not to get them. At the Disney price, the quality of the pretzel is just not worth it. Walt Disney World snack stands have fallen into the unfortunate convenience of serving reheated frozen pretzels at their pretzel stands. I've seen them and prepared them for BoardWalk Joe's Coffee cart when I worked at that resort. Many guests may recognize them as the same Super Pretzels you find in movie theaters, sports stadiums, and your grocer's freezer. Disney does not use Super Pretzel, though the product they use are of a similar quality. Ironically, the ones they use are manufactured at the snack food plant near my home in New Jersey. I know, I read the box!

While the Super Pretzel is still an okay snack and quality product, my family and I stay away from them because we have been spoiled and grown accustomed to hand-rolled, freshly baked pretzels at our local Amish Farmer's market (read about my first rant on Disney pretzels here: http://fromscreentotheme.com/SundayBrunchMinandBill.aspx). Such a fresh, delicious pretzel product would be difficult to produce efficiently for the high volume needs of the Disney theme parks, so the Super Pretzel is their best bet. But still, why pay $3.99 plus tax for a pretzel you can get in your supermarket? Better yet, shopping malls all over the country offer fresh hand rolled pretzels for a cheaper price and in different flavours. My penny-pinching brain always reasons 'You can get so much better elsewhere, get a better Disney treat instead. Look churros!' Churros, popcorn, anything else will save the day for my rumbling tummy.

Speaking of churros, I was with my friend Kelvin, strolling through Frontierland past the Turkey Leg cart when we spotted the neighboring Churro Wagon. My opinion towards the reheated frozen pretzel had changed drastically once I saw the little beauties hanging out with the churros: the Mickey Mouse pretzel! No question about it, these were the Super Pretzels I despised, but yet in this form they were irresistible. My chef instructor always said eye appeal is buy appeal, and the Mickey Mouse pretzel certainly had both! Months and months of craving pretzels were thwarted by my logical brain, but the mouse that started it all was the mouse that ended it all. I had to have this new Mickey Mouse treat no matter the cost. $4.50 is a lot for any snack item, let alone a pretzel, but this one was special!

We close this month's Mickey Mouse shaped snack Sunday Brunchies and Crunchies series, with a thought. A picture on a candy bar, circular shaped vanilla ice cream dipped in chocolate, tri-circle pretzels; these are all just snacks you can find anywhere else for a lot cheaper, but guests will continue to pay more than normal because of its shape. Is it the snack they really want? Is it the joy they get from eating something in the shape of a beloved character? The Disney Theme parks have countless food items in the shape of Mickey Mouse that may otherwise sell normally for the product it is. Presenting the food as Mickey Mouse really adds character, warmth, happiness, and so much more, I could go on and on. Here I am, a logical thinking human being, and a single change to a known product is enough to change my mind about it. The comfort of seeing a beloved face combined with the novelty of a familiar product in a new form proves that we eat with our eyes to bring joy to our hearts. Mickey saves the day again.

 

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