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A niche public radio podcast is a crunchy ode to a favorite snack food.

Apodcast where the content is exclusively about … pretzels? It’s true – that crunchy, salty snack shaped like a knot has inspired the quirky, engaging new Pretzel Podcast on Milwaukee Public Radio (WUWM 89.7 FM).

What started as daily visits to a coworker’s office pretzel jar to feed a “shared affinity” for the carby snack food and chitchat about “how much could we say” about this uncharted food territory evolved into about a dozen (and counting) 15-40 minute recordings structured into bits like “Pretzels in the News” and “Crunch Time” in which hosts Michelle Maternowski and Mitch Teich sample and critique new discoveries. But when the hosts get offbeat is where the minutes on this show entertainingly fly, as when the duo compile nine pretzel-related songs that are evaluated on air by local musician Trapper Schoepp.

Looking down the content road, topics to listen for include pretzel injuries (a juicy – or rather, crispy – subject indeed). As they consider the future of their nichy podcast, Teich says his research has uncovered surprises that show “how much pretzels have contributed to pop culture.” Like the snack itself, the segments are rather addictive: Teich says the audience “grows exponentially” every time they post a podcast. “People tell me,” says Teich, “‘I thought you were joking, but there is really something to this.’” Ponder that over your next handful of Rold Gold.

To listen, go to: bit.ly/PretzelPod.


“Pretzel Mania” appears in the August 2018 issue of Milwaukee Magazine.

Find it on newsstands beginning July 30, or buy a copy at milwaukeemag.com/shop.

Be the first to get every new issue. Subscribe.

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