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Raise your knish consciousness with this stuffed course at Brooklyn Brainery

The Brooklyn Paper
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The knish is ready for its comeback.

The borough’s knisheries — once as common as bagel stores and pizzerias — have all closed, but Park Sloper Laura Silver thinks that a potato pie renaissance is just ahead.

To do her part, Silver, the leading expert on the cabbage-, potato-, meat- or kasha-stuffed dough, will lead a two-session course next week at Brooklyn Brainery.

“The knish is a repository or culture, history and memories — the manifestation of 6,000 years of history,” said Silver. “Now it’s hard to get a good knish. But I am hopeful about a knish renaissance. It’s time.”

The biggest blow to knish consciousness came in 2005, when Mrs. Stahls closed after 60 years in Brighton Beach. So few people even remember the knish that Silver’s class will start with an exploration of its Eastern European Jewish origin through legends and songs, and move onto tastings, with samples of old-school knishes from Adelmans Deli on Kings Highway and a new interpretation from Mile End in Boerum Hill.

“Sometimes we’ll get really creative. We did a roasted asparagus one recently that was really nice,” said Leslie Wallick, a server at the Boerum Hill deli. “It tends to be with what seasonal vegetables we have.”

Eventually, Silver hopes to hold a course on making the doughy dish, so knish enthusiasts can get creative themselves.

“It’s a communal activity — it’s all about bringing people together,” said Silver. “My vision is to have the biggest knish baking session on record.”

Knish 101 at Brooklyn Brainery (515 Court Street at W. Ninth Street in Carroll Gardens, no phone), July 6 and 13 from 7-8:30 pm, $30 for the two classes. For info, visit

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