Move away from New York and you will quickly realize the absence of many local delicacies. One item that is particularly scarce is that potato-filled pocket of love known as the knish. Popularized by NYC immigrants at the turn of the century, Knishes remain a beloved snack, or even a meal.
The Knish arrived in America courtesy of Eastern European immigrants of Jewish descent. The name is Yiddish, meaning a cake or dumpling. Knishes come in a number of shapes with a wide variety of fillings, but the most popular is the simple rectangle potato knish.
Available primarily at delis, they are also found on hot dog carts and were often sold in schools back in the 70s.
In recent years, a few attempts were made to re-brand knishes as gourmet items, with specialty restaurants opening up in other parts of the country that offer unique fillings such as tofu, spinach and black beans. That’s well and good for some folks, I suppose, but for the Long Island traditionalists out there, just give them a plain ol’ potato knish and maybe a little mustard on the side, and that’s really all you need. Am I right?
Do you have fond memories of eating knishes on Long Island in the 70s. Did you have a favorite from a particular deli? I hope you’ll share all of your knish memories with us in our comments section below.