Uncle Gene’s Backwoods Pretzels

Picture a man. He has a red and black flannel on. It’s a bit worn around the edges, and wisps of his silvery gray hair curl around the frayed collar. He grasps the dirty brass buttons holding up his faded blue overalls with pride, knees bent forward. There’s something self-satisfied about his toothy grin. The deep smile lines around his mouth too perfect, almost artificial.

He hands you a pretzel, but not just any pretzel. It’s a backwoods pretzel. Sure, it looks like any ol’ normal pretzel, except for the fact that it’s from – you know – up north. Where people live in trailers in the woods and stock firewood like there might not be any woods come next year. So maybe something is up with it, but it’s a good pretzel – or, so you’re told.

Of course you have to eat it. You have to be polite.

At first, it tastes just like a normal pretzel. Then it’s sweet, and taste likes cherries. As the jagged, dry pieces of baked bread squirm down your throat, a spicy, vaguely Mexican flavor rears its head. You don’t know what’s going on, but it’s… it’s….


“They’re cherry chipotle flavored,” Uncle Gene tells you.

He has noticeable Yooper or northern Michigan accent. Lots of pauses, lots of “uh….”, and lots of imaginative interpretations of vowel sounds.

“Heck, why buy the dip when you can make ’em taste like this right out the bag?”

It’s tough to argue with Uncle Gene. His backwoods pretzels are a damn good treat – quality pretzels with distinct, full-bodied flavors. I’d recommend getting a bag of Uncle Gene’s Backwoods Pretzels  from Traverse City before winter hits.

Relieved, you walk out the back door and take in the crisp, fall air, and the wonderful gradients of red, yellow, brown, blue, and green. Ah, Michigan.


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