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The Evolution of the Cheesecake (And Your Chance to Win Cheesecakes by Guy!)

March 8, 2019

Who doesn’t love cheesecake? It takes a truly heartless man (or woman) to turn down a slice, especially if it’s free. What’s the best one you’ve tried? Did it have Pumpkin Spice? Was it Red Velvet? Maybe classic Chicago-style?  Careful, don’t get drool on your keyboard.

greg pumpkin cheesecake

The very idea of cheesecakes may seem  modern and new, but it has, in fact, been in existence (in one form or another) for millennia. The versions we enjoy today are merely the delicious descendants of these ancient desserts.

1. Cheesecakes originated in Greece.

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Cheesecakes first originated in Greece. Archeologists have unearthed physical evidence that prove cheesecakes have been in existence as early as 2000 BC. Among the artifacts they’ve recovered are the cheese molds used to make the cake.

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These ancient cheesecakes (basic wheat flour pastries baked with cheese and honey) were considered to be a great source of energy. There is evidence that it was actually served to athletes during the first Olympic games and as wedding cakes (which makes sense as both sports and post-wedding celebrations are notorious for tiring a guy out).

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The oldest surviving complete Greek cheesecake recipe dates back to 230 AD, written by a man named Athenaeus. His method involved pounding some cheese until it was smooth and pasty, mixing that in with honey and wheat flour in  a brass pan, and heating that pan on an open flame until the cheesecake was perfectly cooked. The cakes were then allowed to cool before they were served to guests.

2. Romans improved the Greek recipe by adding crushed cheese to the mix.

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When Rome took over Greece, they modified the cheesecake recipe by adding crushed cheese and eggs to the mix. As the legions sought to expand the Roman Empire, they brought their cheesecakes with them, thereby introducing the dish to England and Eastern Europe.

3. In 1545, the first cookbook was printed with Henry VIII’s chef’s cheesecake recipe.

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It wasn’t until 1545 when the first cookbook was printed. Henry VIII’s favorite cheesecake, made by his personal chef, had its recipe included  in the volume. It involved small cheese pieces that were soaked in milk for three hours. The cheese was strained and then mixed with eggs, butter, and sugar to make the cake.

4. In 1873, the Americans added Cream Cheese to the recipe.

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It wasn’t until the 19th century that the cheesecake started to take the shape we’re all familiar with today, dense, creamy, and with a graham cracker crust . In 1873, the Americans added cream cheese to the standard cheesecake recipe. This innovation resulted in a much creamier texture, becoming an instant hit all over New York.

5. Today, almost every country has its own unique cheesecake variation.

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All over the globe, people started adding their own unique twist to the cheesecake. Chicago Cheesecake, for instance, uses sour cream, while the St. Louis Cheesecake uses a moist butter cake base with an additional layer of cake on top of the cheesecake filling. The Italian version, on the other hand, contains ricotta cheese, while the Greeks use mizithra or feta. Germans prefer using cottage cheese, while the Japanese use a combination of egg whites and cornstarch. Other specialty cheesecakes soon started appearing on the market, made with unusual ingredients such as blue cheese, seafood, caviar, chilies, and even tofu.

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Did reading about the history of cheesecakes make you crave for a slice yourself? You’re in luck! We’re giving away 3 Caviar Cheesecake tasters and 3 Cheesecake tasters from Cheesecakes by Guy. All you have to do is click the image above, follow him on Twitter, and he’ll decide who’s been naughty or nice.

Reference: Cheesecake.com

Mikka Wee Mikka Wee

Mikka Wee is former editor of Pepper.ph and was part of the team until she got whisked away to Singapore in 2016 where she worked in advertising and eventually found herself back in the food industry. She currently does marketing work for two popular Singaporean dessert brands and is a weekly columnist for The Philippine Daily Inquirer’s lifestyle brand, Preen.ph. She has always been crazy about travel, food, and her dog Rocket.

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18 comments in this post SHOW

18 responses to “The Evolution of the Cheesecake (And Your Chance to Win Cheesecakes by Guy!)”

  1. Shelly Ann Itay says:

    i scream for cheesecake!!!! nomnomnom

  2. Benjamin Jay Zapanta says:

    want want want cheesecake!!!!

  3. Raxenne Dosher Maniquiz says:

    Woooow!!! Yay for history! And the artworks! Omg dat caviar cheesecake. O.O

  4. Iris Castillo says:

    CHEESECAKE!!! 🙂

  5. bernadette asprer says:

    cheeeessseeeeecaaaakkkkeee!!!! <3

  6. Cassy Isturis says:

    Where’d you guys get the ideas abt the cheesecake history? It’s amazing to know that even cheesecakes got traces from where it had originated… Yum. I love your layout by the way, good job <3

    • Mikka Wee says:

      I used references from various websites. 🙂 I know!! It’s such an interesting story, right?! And all this time, I thought the cheesecake was a modern dessert that came from New York! :))

      • Bernice Varona says:

        I also thought cheesecake was a modern dessert! It’s good to know where it originated and how it evolved 🙂 Thanks for this feature!

  7. Atika says:

    Interesting information!

  8. Iska Felix says:

    Now cheesecakes evolved in my perspective. They aren’t just yummy but also interesting. Love it! <3

  9. babsicatn says:

    i’ve been craving for cheesecake for soooooo looooooong… this is interesting, by the way 🙂

  10. daniela lopez says:

    Im drooling for cheesecake now -___-

  11. Ma. Clarice Itumay says:

    Dear Cheesecake, you are welcome in our home! I will be waiting for you and cant wait to eat you!

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