NY knish factory fire leads to nationwide shortage - FOX 13 News

NY knish factory fire leads to nationwide shortage

Posted: Updated:

FRANK ELTMAN and VERENA DOBNIK | AP

COPIAGUE, N.Y. (AP) - A fire at a factory billed as the world's biggest maker of knishes has created nationwide shock and oy for those who can't seem to find the Jewish treats anywhere.

Kvetching has been going on at delis, diners, food carts and groceries since the 6-week-long shortage began, but lovers of the square, fried, doughy pillows of pureed potatoes may not have to go without much longer. The factory promises an end to the knish crunch by Thanksgiving, which coincides with the start of Hanukkah.

"Our customers ... are calling us saying they are literally searching supermarkets and stores and they're all asking when we'll be back," Stacey Ziskin Gabay, one of the owners of the 92-year-old Gabila's Knishes, which sells about 15 million knishes a year.

A fire Sept. 24 at the Gabila's plant in Copiague, on Long Island, damaged the machinery that makes the company's biggest seller - "The Original Coney Island Square Knish," which also come filled with kasha or spinach.

Gabila's, which also makes matzoh balls, blintzes and latkas, sells the knishes both online and at retail outlets around the country, with New York, Florida and California leading the sales.

"For the last month I haven't had any knishes - my heart is broken," said Carol Anfuso, a native New Yorker who has been without a knish to nosh since the BJ's Wholesale store near her Atlanta home suddenly stopped stocking them.

But Anfuso didn't learn of the shortage until she visited her sister for lunch at the Pastrami King restaurant in Merrick, Long Island, and found that it was out of stock, too.

Pastrami King owner Joe Yamali said he normally sells about 2,000 knishes a month.

"It brings you back to your childhood and they're just so delicious," Yamali said. "Gabila is square and fried. You bite into it and the potato oozes out. It's very good."

Katz's Delicatessen, the 125-year-old landmark on Manhattan's Lower East Side, ordinarily sells about 6,000 knishes a month.

"I usually get four to take home," grumbled Brooklyn native Forrest Gurl. "Their crunchiness, their hard corners, the mustard and sauerkraut you put on them. You can't beat a knish."

Like most places, the round, baked version is still available. But Gurl harrumphed a familiar sentiment of knish devotees: "Who gets round knishes?"

Jesse Hochberg, a retired information technology employee, didn't know there was a shortage until he got to the Katz's counter.

"I miss them," he said. "It's something I grew up with. I like the taste, sliced with mustard. ... I always look for them, and I haven't seen them recently."

Katz's chef Kenny Kohn has grown weary of explaining the shortage to customers. Along with the pastrami sandwiches, he serves up a typical New York attitude to the ongoing complaints.

"Get over it! Get a life! It's just a knish."

___

Dobnik reported from New York City.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


  • Long Island NewsLong Island NewsMore>>

  • Fatal skydiving accident on Long Island

    Fatal skydiving accident on Long Island

    Thursday, July 31 2014 8:26 AM EDT2014-07-31 12:26:50 GMT
    Police on Long Island say one person has died and another has been seriously injured in a skydiving accident. Riverhead police say it happened at about 4 p.m. Wednesday at Skydive Long Island in Calverton. Police say the injured person was airlifted to Stony Brook University Hospital in critical condition.
    Police on Long Island say one person has died and another has been seriously injured in a skydiving accident. Riverhead police say it happened at about 4 p.m. Wednesday at Skydive Long Island in Calverton. Police say the injured person was airlifted to Stony Brook University Hospital in critical condition.
  • 8 fined $144,500 in Long Island cheating scandals

    8 fined $144,500 in Long Island cheating scandals

    State records show two administrators and six educators were fined a total of $145,500 in connection with two separate cheating scandals in Glen Cove City schools on Long Island.
    State records show two administrators and six educators were fined a total of $145,500 in connection with two separate cheating scandals in Glen Cove City schools on Long Island.
  • Queens teen pleads guilty in crash that killed 4 friends on Long Island

    Queens teen pleads guilty in crash that killed 4 friends on Long Island

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 2:54 PM EDT2014-07-29 18:54:40 GMT
    A New York teenager has pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide in a 2012 high-speed crash that killed four of his friends and split his new car in two. Joseph Beer entered the plea Tuesday. He faces five to 15 years in prison, though his attorney is seeking youthful offender status because he was 17 at the time.
    A New York teenager has pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide in a 2012 high-speed crash that killed four of his friends and split his new car in two. Joseph Beer entered the plea Tuesday. He faces five to 15 years in prison, though his attorney is seeking youthful offender status because he was 17 at the time.
Powered by WorldNow

FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
3213 West Kennedy Blvd.
Tampa, Florida 33609
Main: (813) 876-1313
Newsroom: (813) 870-9630
Fax: (813) 871-3135

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices