Cool Stuff Being Made: Herr Pretzels

So do you know what the chief flavoring ingredient is in most pretzels? No, not the beer your drink while eating them. It’s malt (or as the case may be, malted corn syrup). And it’s a sodium-solution baked on that gives the pretzels that nice brown coloring.

Phil Bernas, technical manager of Herr Foods, guides us through the Nottingham, Pa., plant in this week’s Cool Stuff Being Made, explaining all the twists and turns and extrusion into metal dies of pretzel-making.

Pennsylvania is the land of snack-making, and Herr’s got its start with potato chips in 1946. From the company history:

The Herr Foods story began in 1946 when 21-year-old James Stauffer Herr bought a small potato chip company in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, for $1,750. In 1947, the business moved into a vacated tobacco shed on the Herr family farm. As he learned more about the business, Jim Herr developed new and better cooking processes and a delicious snack food became even better. As demand for Herr’s® Potato Chips grew, so did the company.

Today the family-owned Herr’s employs 1,500 people who manufacture and distribute more than 350 snack products nationwide.

Thanks this week and most weeks to Pennsylvania Cable Network for sending the underlying video

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