September 15, 2014

A New Book Puts Focus on Hungarian Kosher, Chicago’s Flagship Kosher Store

SKOKIE, Ill — As soon as you enter the large exclusive kosher supermarket you are met with the aroma of the bakery section and the deli counter nearby but also by a rack with freshly printed copies of “Food, Family and Tradition: Hungarian Kosher Family Recipes and Remembrances” by Lynn Kirsche Shapiro, the sister of owner Ira Shapiro and daughter of founders Sandor and Margit Kirsche. Although the beautifully designed book is chock-full of traditional or “heimishe” recipes, many that the author’s mother first created in her native Czechoslovakia, it is also the story of a family that had revolutionized kosher in the greater Chicago area.

Despite growing competition from large kosher sections in newer chain stores and discount club stores, it is still the largest exclusive kosher supermarket in Chicago, where shoppers can be certain that everything in the store is kosher certified. Ira and his sister Lynn are still sitting in the back of their large 25,000 square foot store trying out a new recipe for possible sale in their elaborate takeout section. The store’s extensive wine selection is a reflection of Ira’s longstanding love affair with kosher wines. His well-stocked store features all of the kosher brands that one is apt to find in a kosher store in New York. The store’s slogan is “One Stop Kosher Shop” and for the loyal kosher shoppers there is absolutely no reason to shop anywhere else. From produce to meats, the store is truly “one stop.” Lynn’s book is a heartwarming story of the family’s passion for good foods and its journey from surviving the holocaust to becoming Chicago’s primary destination for kosher.