Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Official Knish Review

Always an admirer of Jewish faith and culture, I knew a knish was some type of Jewish food.  In the book Knish: In Search of the Jewish Soul Food by Laura Silver finally gives the homely knish its due. 

A few old photos sprinkled throughout the text help the author illustrate the ways in which communities thrive around certain types of food. At one time, knish shops were common, this one favored more than that one and vice versa, depending on your family or location. Not so anymore.  As the population aged and moved away, the knish shops disappeared.  

What begins as a fond memory quickly becomes a search for the origin of the knish.  Combining her family's heritage with that of the knish, Ms. Silver shows how cultures share similar types of food and how food origins, though blurred over time, are deeply embedded in family lore.

As with the Yiddish language, time and changing demographics have chipped away at this Jewish comfort food, but Laura Silver is doing her best to keep it alive.  The author’s fond nostalgia for knishes and her warm descriptions of shop owners, especially Mrs. Stahl of “Mrs. Stahl’s Knishes” make this delightful memoir of the knish an absolute pleasure to read.  

(This title was previewed through Edelweiss.  It is scheduled for publication May 6, 2014.)

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