My Thoughts About One of My Favorite Places--Northeastern Indiana's Amish Country

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Best Pretzels Ever

I never thought I could make a meal out of a pretzel… but that was before I discovered JoJo’s Pretzels in Amish Indiana.

JoJo’s has been on the first floor of the Davis Mercantile Building for as long as I can remember—it dates back to the old building, before the big fire (but that’s a story for another day).  The shop has expanded as its popularity has expanded.  But two things haven’t changed—the Coca Cola d├ęcor and the pretzels.  These days they come in all kinds of flavors with all kinds of dipping sauces, instead of just the original white and whole wheat with sauces of sweet or sour  mustard.  There’s something for everyone—even hot dogs or soup for anyone crazy enough not to like their pretzels.

I’ve read that owner Levi King named the place after his wife JoAnne, and that on a busy day, they make over 1,000 pretzels.  You can watch them being made—the workers cut off a chunk of dough, twist it into a rope, and flip it around to make the interconnected loops.  Then it’s baked, dipped in butter, and salted.  Yum.

Right next door is the Kitchen Cupboard, one of the few places in Shipshewana where you can get a good latte or cappuccino (or a frozen ice-blended coffee drink).  The two businesses are connected, so it’s a great combination.  We often sit at one of the tables there to rest our feet, enjoy our snacks, and plan out the rest of our day.  (Note—Kitchen Cupboard goes heavy on the flavorings in their lattes etc., and I like then less sweet, so I ask them to go light on the syrups.)

Fresh-baked pretzels don’t travel or reheat well; therefore, it’s best to eat them on the spot.  So pace yourself and make sure you leave room for a JoJo’s pretzel and a soda (I like the Boylan brand diet cherry) or a coffee drink.

I should mention that there is another pretzel place further down Route 5—Ben’s Pretzels—and the pretzels there are a bit different (more bready) but still very good.  So if you find yourself south of downtown when the craving hits, or if JoJo’s has a line going out the door, take a chance and try Ben’s Pretzels instead.