“When you get to New York, you’ve got to get a knish.” Everybody we knew who had lived in this part of the country had offered this suggestion. We filed it away and forgot about it.
On our way to the Pickle Festival, we passed by the Yonah Shimmel Knish Bakery. As we passed by, the suggestion came back to us. We had to get a knish.
Neither of us had ever had a knish before. Neither of us knew what a knish was. But that didn’t deter our bravery and explorer attitude, or more to the point, our curiosity.
The next day, we were up early, our calendar was clear and we were looking for a plan for the day. Like a light bulb going off, it came to us: Go to the Lower East Side and get a knish. What a great idea, we thought! So off we went!
The lower east side is one of the neighborhoods that still retains the feel of the Old New York neighborhoods. This area is in the heart of the ethnic tenement housing buildings of yesteryear.
Back around 1890, Yonah Shimmel, a Romanian immigrant, began selling knishes from a push cart in the lower east side. In 1910, the business moved into the building where it still sits at 137 East Houston Street. The family still owns and operates the bakery all these years later, using the same oven that was used in 1910.
We ordered the standard potato knish. A knish is sorta like a baked and whipped potato biscuit. It was hot, fluffy, crisp and just flat out good. Traditionally, it goes with deli mustard. Knishes come in all sorts a variations, incorporating vegetables, fruits, spices.
We enjoyed the knishes so much, we returned the next morning to have one for breakfast. JAM had the blueberry and I chose cherry. We decided that the blueberry was best but, blueberry always is.
Highly recommended, and just as we were encouraged, when you come to New York, you’ve got to get a knish!