Have you ever had a knish? I certainly hadn’t before I went exploring New York’s Lower Eastside with Walks of New York.
As the poster at Yonah Schimmel’s Knish Bakery says ‘a knish consists of a filling covered with dough that is baked never fried’.
The fillings can be sweet or savoury. The traditional filling is mashed potato. Schimmels also mention cabbage, onions, kasha (buckwheat) and cheese as traditional fillings too. Today anything goes…spinach, mushroom, sweet potato…even fruit.
The Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe bought knishes to New York in the 1890s along with many other traditional foods.
Yonah Schimmel started selling knishes from a cart in the 1890s. He opened a shop in East Houston St in 1937 and since then this family run business has operated from here. The knishes are made by hand below the shop and sent upstairs in an old lift. There’s no short cuts here!
We tried one with spinach and cheese and another with a potato filling…very tasty! What a great way to start the day!
Have you ever tried a knish?