Let's cheesecake and chill

 Cheesecake has survived for 4,000 years since the first recorded recipe to become one of the world’s most favourite desserts.

Chocolate cheescake or chocolate pie slice on white plate1

Jason Shaw once rightly said ‘Life tastes better after a slice of cheesecake’ and we couldn’t agree more. The creamy, smooth dessert has a way of winning hearts that other desserts don’t.

So let’s take a look at why cheesecake is so popular around the world and why you should have it whenever possible.

 

When it all started

 

Cheesecake dates back 4,000 years to ancient Greece, Greek islands of Samos, to be precise. Physical anthropologists excavated cheese moulds that were dated circa 2,000 BC. The products to make a cheesecake is said to have been around for thousands of years before this though but we don’t know for sure as there’s no evidence of that in writing. However, there’s proof that this lovely dessert was served to athletes during the first Olympic games in 776 BC.
Also, it’s believed that bridal parties earlier used cheesecakes as wedding cakes, making it the ancestor of the fancy cakes we see for weddings now.

 

Went around the world

 

When the Romans took over Greece, they modified the recipes to include crushed cheese and eggs. It was baked over a hot brick and served warm. And when they expanded their empire, Great Britain and Eastern Europe started experimenting and giving the classic dessert their own spin. Eventually, each country had their own versions, taking on different shapes, sizes and with ingredients native to them.

 

Here we are now

 

All that we mentioned sounds weird, doesn’t it? That’s because it was only until the 18th century that cheesecake started to look like the way we recognise it. Along with the various experiments, Europeans started beating eggs instead of yeast to bake bread and cakes. With the removal of that one ingredient, you could finally consume it knowing that it tasted like a dessert. Finally, when the immigrated to the US, the delicious dessert recipe went along with them.

 

Simple ingredients

 

You don’t need too many things to make a cheesecake. As long as you have a base (crackers or biscuits) and smooth cream, you can easily bake (or not) the final product. But as per the oldest Greek recipe, you need to pound the cheese until it is smooth and creamy which is then poured in a brass pan with honey and spring wheat flour.
Allow it to cool once it’s heated and voila, your dessert is ready!

 

More variations since then

 

Thanks to travelling becoming popular over the years, the humble cheesecake has gone around the world and taken its own form. While the Italians use ricotta cheese, Greeks use mizithra or feta. Germans like the cottage cheese and the Japanese combine cornstarch and egg whites. Believe it or not, there are cheesecakes that include seafood, blue cheese, spicy chillies and even tofu!

 

The new classic cheesecake

 

Adding cream cheese made all the difference — the cheesecake we all finally recognise. Then came along the New York Style Cheesecake — just the cake with no fruit, chocolate or caramel on top or the side. This dessert gets its signature flavour from extra egg yolks in the cream cheese mix.

 

Take your pick

 

New York Style Cheesecake

Blueberry Cheesecake

Lemon Swirl Cheesecake

Fruit Surprise Cheesecake

Chocolate Cheesecake

Strawberry Cheesecake

Passionfruit Cheesecake

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Let's cheesecake and chill

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