- Joanne Oppenheim
So, What Exactly is a Knish?
Every once in a while I run into someone who has yet to taste a knish...sad, but true.
"What is a knish?" they ask. Are there really words to explain?
Let me share with you the words from The Mediator, a newspaper of the time that covered the Knish War in 1916 and added a "c" to the spelling:
"But by this time your appetite is surely whetted to know what is it, a knisch. A strictly neutral investigation of knisches a la Max and knisches ala Morris reveals much. While, as all Rivington Street is convinced, one knisch differeth from another in glory, not to say lusciousness and perfection of workmanship, there are, speaking by and large, three recognized types or species of knisch. To wit, the potato knisch, the cheese knisch, and the kasche knisch, or buckwheat knisch. The potato knisch is head and shoulders above the others in point of popularity. Max and Morris both agree on that. They sell twice as many potato knisches as they do cheese and kasche knishes combined. But from the outside one knisch looks surprisingly like another. They all bear a strong resemblance to the dumplings that the new cook tried to concoct before you heeded her request for the "proper utensils." And if you don't consider that sufficient recommendation, you might be interested to know that Max says he disposes of 1,000 knisches every Saturday and Sunday night, and that Morris, on hearing this, stated for publication that he doled out 2,000. The average daily consumption is said to be 537."