So I called Auntie Anne’s to find out if they use lye to make their pretzels and the woman said yes. But when I pressed for more information—what percent solution? dipped or sprayed?—she said she’d need to refer me to one of the food scientists.
The food scientist called me back yesterday. She said that whether or not they used lye was a proprietary issue so she couldn’t tell me.
“You mean you can’t tell your customers what the actual pretzel ingredients are?” I asked incredulously.
“No,” she said, in her measured, I’m-practically-a-computer voice. “Unless you have some allergy that you want to ask me about specifically.”
“Um, are people ever allergic to sodium hydroxide?”
She hesitated, then, “No, not that I’m aware of.”
“Well, okay then. Thanks.” And I hung up, disgusted and peeved.
So there you have it, straight from the food scientist’s mouth: the ingredient list on commercial food products is a bunch of bull malarky. They might be dunking all our food in poison, for all we know.
*To get the rest of the story, go here.
Tonight's supper: soft pretzels, apples, cheese, beer (none of us like beer, but still, pretzels need beer, right?), and ice cream. What are you having?