Rich Taste, Rich History: Tracing The Origins Of Cheesecake
Updated : September 21, 2021 11:09 IST
Eating a piece of velvety chhesecake, but do you know where it comes from?
Cheesecake is an internationally beloved dessert with modern renditions of it coming from different parts of the world. Whether it is the light and fluffy Japanese cheesecake or desi Rasmalai Cheesecake, there is a slice for every tongue. In Germany, they use cottage cheese or as we know it, paneer in the cheesecake while in Chicago they use sour cream and in St. Louis, they skip on the cheese for more butter. And in modern Greece, they use feta in the recipe.
While most people believe that the cheesecake comes from Philadelphia or New York, cheesecake has a rich history going back thousands of years.
Going back to 2000 BC, anthropologists have excavated moulds that resemble a traditional cheesecake mould. The recipe of this cheesecake from four thousand years ago is presumed to have four simple ingredients that are wheat, honey, cheese and flour. There are also claims that cheesecakes were served at then Greek weddings. The Romans were the ones who further customised this recipe. Around 146 BC, the Romans found Greeks cheesecake and adapted their recipe. It was around the time that Romans conquered Greece.
They took the cheesecake to a whole new level and were the first ones to include egg and cheese mix-ins to the cake part. They also created the outer shell which is made from biscuits today. Over the following centuries, cheesecakes were made in England and gained popularity there for their interesting sweet and cheesy flavours. It was in 1545 that the first recipe for cheesecake was documented and the cookbook in which it was featured was commissioned by Henry VIII. As European moved to the East coast cities of the United States, they brought with them the cheesecake.
And in 1873, the Americans included into the recipe sour cream and with that birthed the New York Style Cheesecake. Now, you can get a slice of cheesecake with Nutella or Oreos or jams or syrup or basically anything you like.