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Knish
In Search of the Jewish Soul Food
Laura Silver



HBI Series on Jewish Women

Brandeis University Press
2014 • 300 pp. 40 illus. 5 1/2 x 7"
Kosher Cooking / Social History / Agriculture & Food


$24.95 Hardcover, 978-1-61168-312-7

$22.99 Ebook, 978-1-61168-545-9

Check your ebook retailer or local library for ebook availability.



“Silver’s single-subject work of social history has been shaped with skill and nuance and—to continue chewing on the metaphor—seasoned with sharp humor and deep affection, not just for the pastry but for all the people whose lives it has touched. . . . Her voice is energetic and deeply personal. . . . An accomplished piece of research shared in a delightfully readable way.”—Kirkus Reviews

The one and only absolutely definitive biography of the knish

When Laura Silver’s favorite knish shop went out of business, the native New Yorker sank into mourning, but then she sprang into action. She embarked on a round-the-world quest for the origins and modern-day manifestations of the knish.

The iconic potato pie leads the author from Mrs. Stahl’s bakery in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, to an Italian pasta maker in New Jersey—and on to a hunt across three continents for the pastry that shaped her identity. Starting in New York, she tracks down heirs to several knish dynasties and discovers that her own family has roots in a Polish town named Knyszyn.

With good humor and a hunger for history, Silver mines knish lore for stories of entrepreneurship, survival, and major deliciousness. Along the way, she meets Minnesota seniors who make knishes for weekly fundraisers, foodies determined to revive the legacy of Mrs. Stahl, and even the legendary knish maker’s granddaughters, who share their joie de vivre—and their family recipe.

Knish connections to Eleanor Roosevelt and rap music? Die-hard investigator Silver unearths those and other intriguing anecdotes involving the starchy snack once so common along Manhattan’s long-lost Knish Alley. In a series of funny, moving, and touching episodes, Silver takes us on a knish-eye tour of worlds past and present, thus laying the foundation for a global knish renaissance.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews:

"If you need to know anything about the knish, this is your book."—Forward

“[T]he Mark Kurlansky of the knish”  

New York Observer

“Whimsical, mouthwatering and edifying”  —Sam Roberts, New York Times

Endorsements:

“For 70 years, Mrs. Stahl’s bakery in Brighton Beach served a delicious array of knishes to Jewish and gentile devotees. The bakery’s closing in 2005 filled one enthusiast—Laura Silver—with Proustian remembrances of knishes past. These nostalgic memories launched her on a global quest to pay homage to the knish. She has collected stories about her voyage in her deliciously appetizing book. The reader is left with only one question: Where’s the nearest knish shop?”—Andrew F. Smith, author of New York City: A Food Biography

“Truly riveting, Laura Silver’s Knish: In Search of the Jewish Soul Food weaves personal taste memories with the intricate past of knishes, making for a compelling, well-researched biography of these iconic Jewish pastries.”—Joan Nathan, New York Times food writer and author of award-winning cookbooks, including Jewish Cooking in America



LAURA SILVER is an award-winning journalist whose writing on food and culture has appeared in the New York Times and the Forward and on NPR. Laura has been a writer in residence at the Millay Colony, the Banff Centre, and the New York Public Library. She is considered the world’s leading expert on the knish.

Click here for author's website.





Thu, 23 Oct 2014 13:00:54 -0500