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Esther’s German Bakery


Sunflower, poppy and sesame pretzels

As you might’ve guessed from my last blog, I’m pro-carb.  In fact, I’ve always had a soft spot for bread, rice, bagels, pasta—you name it. And when the country was Atkins-diet crazed, I was personally offended.



So when I was browsing at the farmer’s market in the Crocker Galleria last Thursday, I stopped in my tracks. The picture-ready strawberries, glistening cherries and perfectly ripe peaches were a feast for my eyes, but it was a stack of pretzels from Esther’s German Bakery that made me freeze like a deer in headlights.

Back in 1994, I was studying abroad in Stockholm and took a side-trip to Heidelberg, a small, fanciful German village that’s also home to my ancestors from way back when. I wish I could say that I felt an undeniable bond to this German hamlet, but, aside from the enormous castle and idyllic city center, I really just remember one thing: pretzels—and not the fake, frozen ones we have here in the States. These pretzels weren’t even salt covered; instead, they were heavy with sesame seeds or poppy seeds. After that visit, I had a strong suspicion that my carb-crazed tendencies weren’t just me; they were genetic.

So here I am—17 years later—in the heart of SF’s Financial District eating a German-style sesame seed pretzel and loving it just as much as ever before.


Esther's German Bakery stand in the Crocker Galleria

In addition to Crocker Galleria’s Thursday market, you can find the pretzels, along with other baked goods from Esther’s German Bakery, at Rainbow Grocery and several other markets in the Bay Area.