The Wanko, a stoner-size peanut butter confection studded with chocolate chunks and hard pretzels ($3) hits the salty-sweet nail on the head. And it’s just one of the many toothsome morsels from Sigmund Pretzelshop’s oven that will be available on Saturday and Sunday, at the highly anticipated opening of the Hester Street Fair. (They’ll be joined by some of our favorite fashion and food vendors: Wanderlust Vintage, Gargyle, The Meatball Shop, Luke’s Lobster, Brown Cafe, and Mile End.)
In the shop, owner Lina Kulchinsky, formerly a pastry cook at Bouley and Danube, elevates the rustic carb to new heights by offering pretzel sandwiches, tongue-twisting flavors (jalapeno cheddar, Gruyere paprika, caramel pecan), and free house-made sauces (beet horseradish mayo, wholegrain mustard, herb goat cheese). Also worthy of an ogle: the ludicrous pizza-size Uber pretzels (by special order).
On weekends, Kulchinsky performs overnight baking sessions, donning her head kerchief at midnight and churning out delicious treats through the night. On a recent Saturday, we trailed her through the morning; view the gallery here.
And on Monday, April 26 (National Pretzel Day!), Kulchinsky is unveiling a new product: Schaller & Weber hot dogs on a pretzel bun. Join the celebration, 5-9 p.m., for a special $3 pretzel dog with sauerkraut, pickles, kimchi, and signature sauces (reg. $5-$9).
Sigmund Pretzelshop, 29 Avenue B, between Second and Third Streets (646-410-0333 or sigmundnyc.com). Hester Street Fair, every Sunday through August, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Hester Street, at Essex Street (hesterstreetfair.com).
Photo: Nicola Kast