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Knish Factory Fire in NY Leads to US Shortage of Jewish Treat

By Michael Mullins   |   Monday, 11 Nov 2013 11:09 AM

A knish factory fire in New York has led to a nationwide shortage of the Jewish deep-fried treat, but the company hopes to be back in production for the start of Hanukkah and Thanksgiving.

The company Gabila's Knishes suffered a fire on Sept. 24 that led to it shutting down a machine crucial to the production of knishes, the Associated Press reported.

As a result, vendors across the country have suffered from a shortage in knish inventory and over the past six weeks been unable to restock their shelves with the much sought after deep-fried.

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"For the last month I haven't had any knishes – my heart is broken," Carol Anfuso, a native New Yorker now living in Atlanta, Ga. told the AP when she realized her local BJ's Wholesale store had stopped stocking the product.

According to the company's management, the machine will be repaired shortly and knishes will begin flowing out the factory door in time for Thanksgiving, which also happens to coincide with the start of Hanukkah this year.

"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 Gabila's Knishes, told the AP.

Having been in business for the past 92 years, Gabila's Knishes says it produces 15 million Knishes each year, along with other various Jewish delicacies such as matzoh balls, blintzes and latkas. The company sells to retail outlets throughout the country particularly in the New York, Florida and California markets, the AP noted.

For those readers who might not be familiar with knishes, the treat originated in Eastern Europe and comes both round and squared-shaped, though the latter is the more traditional cut, with a deep-fired outer layer of soft crust containing any combination of mashed potato, sauerkraut, ground meat, onions, cheese and kasha – buckwheat grain.

In light of the many who crave their knish, possibly more than ever considering it is largely unavailable, Kenny Kohn, a chef at New York City's famous 125-year-old Katz's Delicatessen told the AP he's getting tired of telling his customers there are no more knishes, quipping in typical New York fashion, "Get over it! Get a life! It's just a knish."

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