Your Stories: Myer’s Kosher Kitchen in Revere, Massachusetts

My parents Myer & Marion Kaplan and brother, Gary Kaplan for many years operated Myer’s Kosher Kitchen in Revere, MA. While they made many kosher Jewish delicacies, their meat knish ( the only kind they made) was perhaps the single most popular and best selling product.

It took several years to perfect the recipe, first for a flour which would withstand the manufacturing process, then the meat filling with the just right taste and texture , and then for the machinery which would produce a constantly shaped (oblong)product where the dough would not crack during the baking process.

Because they were federally inspected, they were able to ship in the New England area and to sell in super markets. 
As in most small businesses, the product was at first hand made with my mother the main person directing the women who rolled the dough in long sheets, filled it and cut the long roll into the individual knishes.

As the product became very popular, they knew they needed to acquire machinery to mass produce the knishes. She and my brother went to Italy where they found a piece of machinery originally designed to produce ravioli. They were able to get he machine modified to make the knishes and they were then able to supply many thousands of dozens of kosher knishes to satisfy both the greater Boston area and New England. 

Alas, the business closed several years ago and Myer’s knishes are no more. A loss lamented by many for whom Myer’s kosher products were a necessity.

Your Stories: Meyer’s Knishes on Rockaway Beach

My grandparents operated Meyer’s Knishes on New York’s Rockaway Beach boardwalk, thought to be the second-longest boardwalk in the world, from the late-1940’s through the late-1960’s. They offered from-scratch round potato knishes, baked, not fried. The shop had a prominent yellow marquee visible in these photos from a Rockaway Beach memories blog:

And novelist Avery Corman (Kramer vs. Kramer) mention Meyer’s Knishes in the opening line of his New York Times piece on nostalgic movies by Neil Simon and Woody Allen: Read Article

I have early childhood memories of my grandparents peeling potatoes, huge steaming pots, and rolling out dough on a long, wide wooden table, but most of all I remember the soft, doughy knishes with their light mashed potato filling and a touch of what we call today caramelized onions. 

In a way, I carry on the tradition. I’m a kosher caterer in Annapolis, Maryland with a colleague who bakes little knishes from scratch when customers order them.

Your Stories: Litwin’s Knishes

My knish story goes back to when I was a little girl, in the 1950’s and my grandfather Samuel Feldman, and his brother-in-law (my great uncle) Joseph Litwin, had a knish store in Coney Island (I believe). I think it was known as Litwin’s Knishes. On Sundays, my father, already a lawyer, would take us in to make knishes on a production line of sorts. Though there was a retail business at the location, we also sold to other businesses and to many of the people who pushed carts along the boardwalk. The knishes were delicious! Not many knishes today can hold there own against my grandfathers. I laugh as I write because I am forever on a quest for a comparable potato knish.

My husband thinks I am off my rocker, but maybe you understand. At any rate, its fun to share a knish story. with someone who has an appreciation.

– M.R.

Your Stories: Childhood Joy at Mrs. Stahls

The year 1956. My childhood had very few joys , however the stop before the day at Brighton beach was to buy our lunch at Mrs. Stahls knishes. My mother Sally, her younger sister Rachel, and I would take the train from Bensonhurst , Brooklyn to Brighton beach at least 2x a week in the summer. The ritual order always the same . Aunt Rachel always ordered the ice cold buttermilk . She drank it slowly savoring the taste, while I took in the aroma of fresh hot knishes being baked. I always ordered the kasha knish. This was one highlights of my childhood. Unwrapping that knish on the beach and taking my first bite was all I needed. The top was slightly brown and the sides and bottom soft and doughy. Inside was my treat kasha and browned onions . I waited for the the man with the white safari hat and to come around to buy my drink of orangeade. 
 Looking back now, I realize why I love to bake and cook. It was those moments that filled me with joy and anticipation. To this day whenever there is problem in my life . I head to the kitchen to bake for relief. Mrs. Stahls gave me a moment of contentment back then.

– L.S.

Your Stories: Mrs. Stahls

When I was 12 years old, I worked for Mrs. Stahl probably in the year 1943. My best friend, Irv Rosen and I would fill the orders at the counter and ring up the bill at the cash register. 

What I wouldn’t give for a taste today!


Your Stories: Ruby the Knishman

Hi, I’m 68 years old. I remember the mid-to late 50s when I was a student at P.S.16 on Wilson Street in Brooklyn NY. There was, an older gentleman who frequented the area around the school who sold knishes from a small cart for 10 cents a piece. Since that time I have never, ever tasted a Knish as delicious as his. They were a soft yeast like bread, deep fried I think, filled with a mashed potato mixture to die for. I remember his beat up metal salt shaker, when he would ask you if you wanted salt on your knish.

Ah, to be back there again.