A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from February 17, 2009
Baldie or Baldy (pretzel without salt)

A pretzel without added salt is called a “baldie” (occasionally spelled “baldy"). “Baldy” pretzel is cited in print from 1955. The Anderson Pretzel Bakery (Lancaster, PA) filed a trademark for “baldies” with a “date of first use” of 1959. Snyder’s of Hanover (PA) has sold “baldie” pretzels to supermarkets since the 1980s.

Other foods, such as plain bagels or plain donuts, might also be called “baldies.” The word “baldy”—meaning a person without hair on his/her head—is cited in Herman Melville’s White Jacket (1849).


WikiAnswers
Q: What are pretzels without salt called?
A: Pretzels without salt are called baldies.

27 October 1955, Kingsport (TN) Times, “Pretzels, Beer May Be Divorced” by Arthur Kranish (INS), pg. 6A, col. 3:
“We even have ‘baldy’ pretzels for people who can’t take salt.”
(Alex V. Tisdale, executive secretary of the National Pretzel Bakers Institute—ed.)

21 September 1970, New York (NY) Times, “Learning to Recognize the Right-Handed Pretzel” by Judy Klemesrud, pg. 52:
Lititiz, Pa.—To many people, pretzels are merely crunchy, funny-shaped tidbits that taste best with a glass of foamy beer.
(...)
One section of the bakery is called the Pretzel Museum. Here, all of the old wooden pretzel-making equipment is displayed, along with samples of some of the newest variations of pretazels: Chocolate dipped, cheese, rye, kosher, pizza, sticks, loops, garlic, and even baby teething pretzels—also known as “baldies” because they have no salt on them.

2 February 1983, Wellsboro (PA) Gazette, pg. 5 ad:
HARD OR NO SALT BALDIE
Snyder’s Pretzels 89c
(Acme supermarket—ed.)

Google News Archive
6 February 1985, Pittsburgh (PA) Post-Gazette, “Pretzel is a state favorite,” pg. 20, col. 1:
Some give the baldie pretzels to babies as “teethers.”

Google Books
Stay with Me, Lella:
A Novel

By Marisa Labozzetta
Published by Guernica Editions
1999
Pg. 145:
“Huggies diapers—not Pampers, mind you—the purple box. Apple juice. Baldies.”

“Baldies?”

“Hard pretzels without salt. The younger one is cutting a tooth. And get rid of the candy, she said.”

The Guardian
Pretzels
George Bush passed out briefly yesterday, after eating a pretzel. Read our guide to the best websites about the troublesome snack

Nicola Norton
guardian.co.uk, Monday 14 January 2002 16.46 GMT
(...)
Ask for a “baldie” if you’re cutting down on sodium - it’s a pretzel without salt.

(Trademark)
Word Mark BALDIES
Goods and Services (EXPIRED) IC 030. US 046. G & S: PRETZELS. FIRST USE: 19590600. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19590600
Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING
Serial Number 73118554
Filing Date March 10, 1977
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Registration Number 1078017
Registration Date November 22, 1977
Owner (REGISTRANT) ANDERSON BAKERIES, INC. CORPORATION PENNSYLVANIA 2060 OLD PHILADELPHIA PIKE LANCASTER PENNSYLVANIA 17604
(LAST LISTED OWNER) ANDERSON BAKING COMPANY, INC. CORPORATION ASSIGNEE OF DELAWARE 2060 OLD PHILADELPHIA PIKE LANCASTER PENNSYLVANIA
Assignment Recorded ASSIGNMENT RECORDED
Attorney of Record BRETT I MILLER
Type of Mark TRADEMARK
Register PRINCIPAL
Affidavit Text SECT 15. SECT 8 (6-YR).
Renewal 1ST RENEWAL 19980115
Live/Dead Indicator DEAD

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • (0) Comments • Tuesday, February 17, 2009 • Permalink