A brief history of the Cheesecake recipe
“Cheesecake. Cheesecake. Cheesecake.”
The original Cheesecake was nothing like the version we eat today. I would say, it was more bread-like and less treated as an after-meal dessert.
Because they used yeast in the fermentation process (like while making bread) unlike adding beaten eggs (like we do for cakes).
Athletes of 776 BC Olympic games (the very first one) were served the precursor cheesecake, for energy to survive the games. Think; Disney’s Hercules hogging a Cheesecake while that goat-dude berates our hero to get on with his training.
The first cake recipe was made primarily of honey, flour, cheese, and wheat, probably blended together (by hand) in a cake-like shape and baked, and then cooled naturally. No doubt then that such a consistency could easily provide a high calorie count.
While tracing its origins I discovered that the first ‘official’ cheesecake is motherf*cking 4000 years old — That’s ~2000BC on our Gregorian calendar 😲
It was created on Samos, an island in ancient Greece, and there are actual archaeological finds, with convincing evidence to prove this fact.
Cheesecake was to a Greek market what coconut holige is to the VV Puram’s food street. Then the Romans took over and like Greece’s Hellenic culture, the cheesecake evolved too. Apparently the former added crushed cheese and beaten eggs to the original mixture, and served it warm not cool, thus making their own version of the recipe .
From there our cheesecake evolved like a virus, until almost every country in Europe was serving their own variation of the recipe. It was almost like a family belonging, so when many European families immigrated to America, during 1600–1775, they probably took the recipe along to the New World.
And that is where, my baby, the New York (NY) Cheesecake finds its origin.
Arnold Reuben, a Jewish-German immigrant to America, credits himself to be the father the NY Cheesecake; serving it to his high-profile restaurant clientele’s in the 1930s.
Now, our man’s recipe used (Brand-stone’s brand) cream cheese instead of regular, kitchen, cottage cheese. And that became the trademark of what the world would celebrate as the New York Cheesecake.
Various people have been given recipe credits over the course of time. Here are some I find really curious;
- First unrecorded recipe, ~2000BC by JΩhn DΩe on the island of Samos, ancient Greece
- First written recipe— plakountopoiikon suggramma, aka The Art of Making Cheesecakes, ~500BC by Aegimus in ancient Greece
- First ‘modern’ recipe, ~230AD by Athenaeus in ancient Greece
- Oldest known recorded Roman recipe, ~160AD in the book De Agri Cultura by Marcos Cato in ancient Rome
- Sambocade and Tart de Bry recipes, ~1390AD in the book The Forme of Cury, compiled by the cooks of King Richard II, England
- Recipe to make a ‘tarte of Chese’, ~1545AD in the English cookbook A Propre new booke of Cokery, London, England
- Grandaddy of the New York Cheesecake recipe, ~1930AD by Arnold Reuben, owner of the legendary Turf restaurant, New York