A knish is a German, Eastern European, and
Yiddish snack food made popular in North America by Jewish immigrants,
eaten widely by Jewish and non-Jewish peoples alike.
A knish consists of a filling covered with dough that is either
baked, grilled, or deep fried.
Knishes can be purchased from street vendors in urban areas with a
large Jewish population, sometimes at a hot dog stand.
In the most traditional versions, the filling is made entirely of mashed potato,
kasha (buckwheat groats) or cheese. More modern
varieties of fillings feature sweet potatoes, black beans, fruit, broccoli,
Many cultures have variations on baked, grilled, or fried dough-covered snacks
similar to the knish: the
Cornish pasty, the
patty, the Spanish and Latin American
empanada, the Portuguese
calzone, the South Asian
and the Russian
Knishes may be round, rectangular or square. They may be entirely covered in
dough or some of the filling may peek out of the top. Sizes range from those
that can be eaten in a single bite hors d'oeuvre to sandwich-sized.