Soft Pretzel — How did someone come up with the soft pretzel? Well, a monk twisted some leftover dough into the shape of crossed arms and gave it to children as a reward for learning their prayers. Pretzels were a hit across Europe, and nine centuries later, when the Turks were tunneling under the walls of Vienna, it was the early-bird pretzel bakers who heard them and sounded the alarm. According to The New York Times, the soft pretzel, sprinkled with salt and smothered in mustard may be the definitive street food.
Churros- This delectable breakfast pastry owes its name to its unusual curvy shape. Using the limited available ingredients of butter, eggs and flour, they concocted a fried pastry that resembled the horns of the sheep they tended. Those sheep were called churros. In time, that humble shepherds’ food made its way to Latin America and then north to the United States.
Gyro- The Greek word gyro means “spin,” and that makes sense when you think of those huge cones of mystery meat spinning on their axes in sidewalk restaurants around the world. Before it became street fare, the gyro was popular long ago in Greece.
Hot Dogs- If you live in Chicago, it’s a beef frank and you eat it on a poppy seed roll with mustard, relish, onions, pickles, tomatoes and celery salt. If you’re in Rochester, N.Y., it’s a spicy pork sausage — split, grilled and nestled in a toasted bun. The varieties are as endless as the stories of its origins.