What Are Knish?

Eastern European immigrants who arrived at the turn of the 20th century brought knish to America, opening the first knish bakery in New York in 1910.

Knish is a Yiddish word that was derived from the Ukrainian Книш "knysh", meaning "a kind of bun." The baked, grilled, or fried dumplings consist of flaky dough shaped into circles, rectangles or squares, and filled with mashed potato, ground meat, sauerkraut, onions, kasha (buckwheat groats), or cheese.

Many cultures have variations of baked, grilled, or fried dough-covered snacks, including Cornish pasty, Scottish Bridie, Jamaican patty, Spanish and Latin American empanada, Middle Eastern fatayer, Portuguese rissole, Italian calzone, Indian samosa, Polish pierogi, Russian pirozhki, and Ukrainian pyrizhky.