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Cheesecake: A History

Cheesecake is everywhere.There are not many restaurants around the United States that do not have at least one form of the classic dessert on the menu.  Whole restaurants have business plans that revolve around the cheesecake pastry.There are many styles and flavors of cheesecake, from the traditional New York style cheesecake to the new fluffy, wiggly Japanese confection: the souffle cheesecake. The Rolling Pin in Lafayette, LA keeps it simple with 3 kinds: traditional plain New York style, turtle style cheesecake (chocolate cheesecake with caramel and pecans), and a fruit topped cheesecake. 

Cheesecakes are a tried and true classic and when you know their history it is obvious why.  They date back to 5th century BCE, when they are first mentioned by a Greek physician named Aegimus.  A cookbook dating back to 1390, Forme of Cury, is the first to mention a more “modern” cheesecake in their recipes. The dessert took on its name in the 15th century, but it was not until the 18th century when it began to take the form of what we recognize today. 

The cheesecake is so globally renowned that many nations have their own style specific to regions in their nation.  In the United States, there is a Chicago style cheesecake in addition to the New York style cheesecake.  The Chicago style cheesecake is a baked cheesecake that has a firm exterior and a soft, creamy interior and are fluffy rather than dense like the New York cheesecake.The New York cheesecake is dense, creamy, and incorporates heavy cream or sour cream.