Jewish Bakery Sells 104-Year-Old Yogurt Culture

shimmel bakery

Jewish food is all about passing along delicious traditions and heritage to future generations–but one famous Jewish bakery is taking that job quite literally.

The Yonah Shimmel Knish Bakery sells an in-house yogurt that is made with the same active culture that was brought over from Romania by Shimmel himself, and has been used since the bakery opened in 1910.

Current co-owner Ellen Anistratov showed the Wall Street Journal how she mixes a bit of the prexisting yogurt with fresh milk each day, to make a new batch while maintaining the same culture.

Shimmel is best known for its knishes, but some customers swear by the yogurt. The shop has been in the same location on Manhattan’s Lower East Side since it opened.

The Journal article explored other literally “old” foods, like a 112-year-old cured ham in Virginia that is still (arguably) edible, a preserved slice of wedding cake from the 1890’s, and a burger joint in Memphis that strains and preserves its 102-year-old cooking grease.

Whatever Shimmel’s is doing to its yogurt, it must be working. THe spot is considered a New York food icon and a must-stop for visitors to the city seeking classic Jewish treats.


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