It’s such a pity that no bakers in our area are capable of making authentic pretzels. For some reason they substitute the required sodium hydroxide solution with something cheap (I guess a baking soda solution) so their pretzels look like real ones, but actually don’t taste as sour and tingly as they should. Or maybe it’s too dangerous for the bakers to deal with it correctly?
It took me a while to figure out where to buy food grade NAOH in New Zealand and admittedly, it wasn’t cheap, but it’s so worth it! Our first real Butterbrezeln in 3 years, just like they taste in their home Bavaria, Germany.