Artisans: Putting a twist on a German specialty

By Alexia Santamaria

Yvonne Blum's soft, buttery, bread pretzels. Photo / Supplied
Yvonne Blum's soft, buttery, bread pretzels. Photo / Supplied

Yvonne Blum immigrated here from Germany in 2007. "You could get most German products here - meats, cheeses and bread," she says "but the one thing I missed was real pretzels".

Now just to clarify, we are talking large, soft, bread pretzels here - not the dry snack-size ones you buy in packets. Yvonne had learned to make them as a child, and started making them for her kids here.

The German community is tight and when word got out that someone was making real pretzels, Yvonne was approached by Tasty and Delicious - a German cafe in Brown's Bay - to supply them commercially.

So in 2009 she started up Bloom's Buttery, supplying at first just the cafe but soon gourmet stores and a couple of markets too. The product was a winner and popular with Kiwi and German customers alike.

When Diane Stanbra of Picnic Box tasted them, she was instantly hooked and started stocking them in her food cart, even taking them to Eden Park during games.

The word spread further.

About a year ago, Yvonne decided to create a frozen product so people can bake pretzels at home. In just 15 minutes you have golden, warm, soft, doughy pretzels ready to serve as is, or with your topping of choice. She even puts rock salt in the pack for you to apply before baking.

The pretzels taste outstanding and look great too. Yvonne and her family hand-make and twist all their pretzels into the traditional looped shape. They make rock salt, seeded, pizza, cheese, organic and gluten-free varieties.

We loved them all but were definitely most taken with the frozen product. The kitchen smelled like a German bakery and the lye glaze turned them from pale to that very specific shiny pretzel brown in no time. They were hard on the outside, perfectly soft and warm on the inside and the crystals of rock salt finished them off impeccably. It was impossible to just have one bite and we were left with a pile of crumbs in an embarrassingly short time.

Where to buy

ArtisansFarro Fresh, Nosh, Tasty and Delicious, La Cigale, Coatesville Market or call Yvonne on (09) 411 7131 for bigger orders.

- NZ Herald

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