National Cheesecake Day is observed annually on July 30th. Cheesecake is a delicious dessert that is loved by millions around the country. It is a sweet dessert that is a mixture of soft fresh cheese, cream cheese or cottage cheese, eggs and sugar on a crust made from crushed graham crackers, crushed cookies, pastry or sponge cake.
Cheesecakes can be prepared baked or unbaked, can be flavored and are often served topped with fruit, fruit sauce, chocolate or whipped cream. There are many flavors in which cheesecakes can be prepared, some of which are blueberry, strawberry, pumpkin, chocolate, key lime, lemon, orange, raspberry or toffee.
It is possible that an ancient form of cheesecake may have been a popular dish in ancient Greece. It has been found that the earliest attested mention of a cheesecake is by Greek physician Aegimus, who wrote a book on the art of making cheesecakes. The first “cheese cake” may have been created on the Greek island of Samos. Physical anthropologists excavated cheese molds there which were dated circa 2,000 B.C.
James Kraft developed a form of pasteurized cream cheese in 1912. In 1928, Kraft acquired the Philadelphia trademark and marketed pasteurized Philadelphia Cream Cheese which is now the most commonly used cheese for cheesecake.
- A cheesecake (at least an American-style cheesecake) is not a cake; it’s a baked cheese custard pie with a crust. The uncooked custard filling is poured into a crust and then baked.
- Pennsylvania Dutch-style cheesecake uses a slightly tangy type of cheese with larger curds and less water content, called pot or farmer’s cheese.
- Philadelphia-style cheesecake is lighter in texture, yet richer in flavor than New York style cheesecake.
- Farmer’s cheese cheesecake is the contemporary implementation for the traditional use of baking to preserve fresh cheese and is often baked in a cake form along with fresh fruit like a tart.
- Country-style cheesecake uses buttermilk to produce a firm texture while decreasing the pH (increasing acidity) to extend shelf life.
- Lactose free cheesecake may be made either with lactose-free cream cheese or as an imitation using Vegan recipes combining non-dairy cream cheese alternatives with other lactose-free ingredients.
- Modern commercial American cream cheese was developed in 1872, when William Lawrence, from Chester, New York, while looking for a way to recreate the soft, French cheese Neufchâtel, accidentally came up with a way of making an “unripened cheese” that is heavier and creamier; other dairymen came up with similar creations independently.
- Even though he is best known for his signature sandwiches, Arnold Reuben (1883-1970) is generally credited for creating the New York Style cheesecake. Reuben was born in Germany and he came to America when he was young. The story goes that Reuben was invited to a dinner party where the hostess served a cheese pie. Allegedly, he was so intrigued by this dish that he experimented with the recipe until he came up with the beloved NY Style cheesecake.
- On the “The Golden Girls,” the cast consumed more than 100 cheesecakes over the course of the TV show’s seven-year run.
- The largest cheesecake weighed 6,900 lb, and was created by Philadelphia Cream Cheese in Lowville, New York, USA, on 21 September 2013. The cheesecake was created using Philadelphia “ready to serve” filling over a graham cracker crust, and was unveiled by Duff Goldman of Charm City Cakes at the Lowville Cream Cheese Festival. The cake measured 7 ft 6.25 in. in diameter, and 2 ft 7 in. tall.