Contrary to popular belief, there is no cat involved in this recipe, nor is there a pretzel to be used. Rather, cat slaw in pretzel sauce is an old Dutch treat made for children during the Summer Solstice.
The cat, one should know, is very important to the slaw culture. In fact, in early times it would be the common cat who would be charged with the task of creating the slaw by use of his long talons. The early cat was, in fact, a key player in the kitchen of Dutch homes, assisting the Slaw Meister (slaw master) in preparation of a number of recipes constructed around the slaw itself.
As to the pretzel, it is not an actual pretzel but rather one made out of slaw itself, then deep fried to a pretzel golden brown. The pretzel is then coated with cheese, another cat favorite, and laid atop a bed of unfried slaw.
The slaw has a rich tradition, but so does the pretzel, in cat literature. The pretzel, which was originally created by a monk to mimic the arms of children crossed in prayer, was often used as a cat panacea, given to a cat when it was ill (usually with slaw poisoning, an ailment unique to the cat population and occurring in instances of extreme slaw ingestion).
The pretzel would, in that way, be used to counteract the effect of the cabbage on the cat intestines. Frequent cat heartburn ran rampant through Futch society of the mid-1800s, resulting not only in feline control laws but also air quality regulations that remain in place up to the present time.
It’s a wonderful meal, cat slaw in pretzel sauce, and one that makes me remember my childhood fondly. I recommend it highly to all of you as part of your Summer Solstice celebrations.