In this world of ever-changing loyalties, it seems at times as though nothing consistent and permanent remains. Nothing in which one can place one's allegiance, confident that the sacred trust that exists between buyer and seller will not fall victim to the bottom line. But the Snyder family of Hanover, good snack food consumers of the world, is living proof of the contrary.

I, W. Friedrich Snyder, believe, as my forefathers did before me, in the nobility of never wavering from one's principles. That is why those fortunate enough to be born into the proud Snyder line stake the reputation of our family name on one single, overriding mission: the manufacture and sale of the widest variety of flavors in the entire venerable history of pretzeldom.

For more than 500 years we have brought you prepackaged twisted baked treats, and for 500 more years we will do exactly the same. Of this, I am certain.

Since the Middle Ages, Snyders not unlike myself have been manipulating breadsticks into complex knots, salting them to perfection, and seasoning them with the delicious spices concocted by our master pretzel-masters—typically the first-born male, though there have been some exceptions—for the sole sake of enhancing your snacking pleasure. And I am proud to say that we have never strayed from the vision of our wise and noble patriarchs.

Stretching back to the wooden pretzel houses of the Old World, the Snyder family has always remained faithful to the utterly satisfying, low-fat indulgence we call the pretzel. When my ancestor, George, Duke of Brunswick-Luneburg, founded the House of Hanover in 1635 by establishing the first great Pretzelwerks of Old Europe, he could not have known what a great tradition he had birthed. When his son, the famed Duke Ernest "Snyder" Augustus, became prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire in 1692, popularizing the honey mustard pretzel throughout the blessed continent, the Hanovers' reputation for pretzel mastery grew. His eventual marriage to the princess Sophia of the Palatinate led to the Glorious Revolution, secured a Protestant succession to the throne of England, and, most importantly, established a pretzel- making dynasty that would dominate the snack-food landscape until the rule of Queen Victoria.

Thus, the Snyder's secured a legacy of sourdough hards, premium pretzel sticks, and bite-sized flavored pretzel pieces that was certain to resound throughout the ages.

And though the House of Hanover's royal line met an untimely demise in 1918, there lived on something no power-hungry Jacobites or low-carbohydrate diet craze could destroy. Commitment, dear friends, is immortal.

What care we Snyders for the impermanence and vagaries of politics? Empires come and go. But when one is devoted to the cause of pretzelry, there can be no end. Many twists and braids and the occasional snap—but never an end.

I suppose such devotion may seem old- fashioned in this modern era, when loyalties shift with mercurial ease on the winds of political and commercial expediency. But we have stayed true in much more difficult times. During the 1700s, when chocolate from the New World was all the rage, there were some heretics who suggested that perhaps the Age of the Pretzel was over. We listened not. When the commercial tide turned toward the sugared biscuit in the 19th century, we did not pay any heed. No matter what the fad of the day, we did not waver.

After the harsh prejudices of the Anti-Pretzel Parliamentary Act of 1856, when we were forced to emigrate to the Americas and reestablish our Pretzel Empire on a new continent, those Snyders of able body did so without hesitation, and found freedom to pursue our devotion to pretzels on these unfamiliar shores. Not even the great Cheese Doodle Boom of the mid-1970s could make the Snyders abandon the pretzel and diversify into the idolatry of puffed powdery cheesiness.

A pledge I give to you this day: So long as my name is Snyder, my solitary province shall be pretzels. And so it shall be as long as there are male heirs to appoint to the board.

We are in pretzels for the long haul, good snack consumers of the world. And we always will be.

You can count on that.