A factory fire at a 92-year-old Long Island bakery has created a nationwide shortage of knishes just weeks before it was poised to become Thanksgivukkah's rightful treat. The September fire damaged machinery at Gabila's Knishes, touted as the largest knish producer in the world, creating a chain reaction in supermarkets and delis across the nation.
"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 ("The Original Coney Island Square Knish"), told the AP. Gabay says they sell about 15 million knishes per year.
But this year isn't like any other year. For the first time since 1888, two great holidays — Hanukkah and Thanksgiving — will fall on the same day. Now dubbed Thanksgivukkah, it's a once in a lifetime, super holiday of merriment. However, we cannot celebrate yet.
This year's joint celebration could mean more demand and a lost opportunity for Gabay. (No one really knows what to expect since the last one was 125 years ago.) Carol Anfuso, an Atlanta transplant living in New York told the AP, "For the last month I haven't had any knishes — my heart is broken." Another Gabila fan was heartbroken when he went to the legendeary Katz's Deli on Manhattan's Lower East Side and didn't find any there either. (Katz's sells around 6,000 of Gabila's knishes a month.) "It's something I grew up with. I like the taste, sliced with mustard. ... I always look for them, and I haven't seen them recently," he said.
Understandably, this is not good news. But there are options, like making your own at home or scouring the black market. And there's always waiting. Gabay says that they are hoping to end the six-week shortage on the day of Thanksgivukkah. That's something to be thankful for.