Chef Keith Taylor, chef/owner of Zachary’s BBQ & Soul Kitchens, has created Philadelphia Pretzel Stuffing, a side dish that tastes great and does good. The main ingredients include Philadelphia soft pretzels, a desire to reduce food waste, and two like-minded culinary entrepreneurs.
Through his experience with the Drexel Food Lab in Drexel University’s Center for Hospitality and Sport Management, Taylor works with students to address issues like food waste through recipe development. Mark Scott, a friend of Taylor’s and owner of Norristown’s Pretzel Factory, lamented the amount of food wasted at his store and other restaurants throughout the country.
“A pretzel on Day Two is history. A pretzel on Day Three is a weapon,” Taylor commented.
Taylor and his daughter, Sami, who is also the business operations manager, are preparing for the upcoming holiday catering rush. They are always looking for items to add to the menu, especially side dishes for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.
Pointing out the high amounts of food waste at home, supermarkets, and restaurants, Taylor recalled his grandmother saving ends of loaves of bread or stale bread for stuffing. Today, many people purchase stuffing mix.
“Someone baked bread so they could dry the bread out, package it, and charge you more! I know what happens with pretzels at the end of the day. It is something that can be used instead of thrown away,” said Taylor.
For Philadelphia Pretzel Stuffing, Taylor soaks the pretzels for twelve hours since the dough is denser.
“The end result is the most glorious stuffing that you couldn’t even have gotten out of the best bread,” said Taylor of the Philadelphia Pretzel Stuffing.
According to Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic, approximately 40 percent of food produced in the U.S. goes to waste. An estimated 1.7 million Pennsylvanians experience food insecurity.
Traditional stuffing lovers can also get their fill of flavor and philanthropy. Twenty percent of the proceeds from the sale of each Zachary’s signature cornbread stuffing, traditional sage stuffing, and Philadelphia Pretzel Stuffing will go to the Coalition To Save Lives.
“We are humbled and grateful to be a part of your table on the holidays and every day,” said Taylor. “Philadelphia Pretzel Staffing represents a piece of our tireless pursuit of coming up with new culinary creations and doing our part to help solve big issues.”