Cheesecake is a beloved dessert all over the world, but there’s much more to it than meets the eye. From its origins to modern-day variations, this irresistible treat has an interesting history and science behind it that you may not know about.
Here are 20 fascinating cheesecake facts that will make you appreciate the creamy confection even more. Dive into this list to discover interesting tidbits about cheesecake, from its surprising origins to the different variations it comes in!
20 Fun Facts About Cheesecake You Didn’t Know
Cheesecake is believed to have originated from the Greek island of Samos, dating thousands of years ago. Anthropologists discovered cheese molds that were dated way back 2,000 BC. Back then, cheesecake was made slightly differently, using the simple ingredients of flour, wheat, honey, and cheese that were pounded together and cooked on an earthenware griddle.
Cheesecake was served to the athletes at the first Olympic Games in 776 BC. This was believed to give the athletes more energy when they competed.
Cheesecake was a popular dessert at greek weddings. Opa! Greek brides and grooms served cheesecake as their wedding cake. As a sign of hospitality, it also became customary for Greek brides to make and serve cheesecakes to the friends of their new husbands. By chance, this idea helped make wedding cakes a custom that is still practiced today.
American cheesecake is only 150 years old! William Lawrence from Chester, New York, unexpectedly discovered a means to make an “unripened cheese” that is heavier and creamier than normal cheese, in an attempt to replicate the soft, French cheese Neufchâtel in 1872. And that’s how Philadelphia cream cheese was born! Philadelphia is now the most common type of cream cheese used when making cheesecake.
New York cheesecake is not the only type of cheesecake. It might be hard to believe as New York cheesecake is the most popular type out there, but there are so many different types of cheesecakes. From a traditional cheesecake, to the Chicago, Italian, Vegan, Japanese “cotton” cheesecake and no bake cheesecake, there are multiple variations out there for you to try.
Cheesecake is not actually a cake. Shocking right? So why call it a cake? Well, no one really knows exactly why it’s called that but a cheesecake resembles more a tart than an actual cake. This is because of the crust the cheesecake has on the bottom and sides, similar to tarts.
The largest cheesecake every made weighed over 9000 pounds! It was made by the Cheeseberry Company (Russian Federation) on September 23, 2017, in Stavropol, Russian Federation. It weighed 4,240 kg or 9,347.60 lb, to be exact! The cake was 0.85 m (2 ft 9 in) tall and had a diameter of 2.8 m (9 ft 2 in). Imagine tucking into that bad boy for dessert. It would take years to finish that, but challenge accepted!
Not quite as big as 9000 pounds, but if you want to learn how to make a big cheesecake, take a look at the video below!
The most expensive cheesecake was sold for almost $5000! Chef Raffaele Ronca from the USA created the world’s most expensive cheesecake, which was sold for $4,592.42 on October 30, 2017, at Ristorante Rafele in New York, NY, USA. Ingredients for the cheesecake included white truffle, gold leaves, and buffalo ricotta. It took him about five days to finish the cheesecake. I mean, I love cheesecake but I don’t think I’d be taking out a small mortgage to eat one!
Yeast was a typical ingredient in cheesecake. It wasn’t until the 18th century that the Europeans started making cheesecake without yeast and added eggs instead. The result tasted more like a sweet treat as the strong yeasty flavor had been removed.
It would cost you $400 to taste the whole cheesecake line of Cheesecake Factory. The Cheesecake Factory, Inc. is an American restaurant chain and cheesecake distributor. It is one of the most well-known chain restaurants in the US. The cost of purchasing all 33 of their cheesecake flavor variations would be close to $400.
The Austrian Postal Services sold postage stamps that tasted like cheesecake. Various flavor postage labels include strawberry cheesecake, macadamia nut brittle, and cookies and cream. These were initially produced by Haagen-Dazs. What a fun way to send letters!
National Cheesecake Day is a thing. In the United States, there is an official National Cheesecake Day which is held yearly on July 30th. However, because many people love cheesecake, they made four more cheesecake days to celebrate specific cheesecake flavors throughout the year. To be honest, I don’t need a special day to eat cheesecake, every day is cheesecake day!
Cheesecake is one of the most adaptable baked goods. An entirely different ingredient can be used in place of each component to make cheesecake. And we are not just talking about sugar substitutes here. Instead of using cream cheese, you can use mascarpone or ricotta and for toppings and fillings, you can use literally use anything your heart desires.
The easiest type of cheesecake to make is a no bake cheesecake. A no bake cheesecake just needs to be chilled in the fridge. You don’t need to worry about your cheesecake cracking or sinking in the oven.
Cheesecake can be served either hot or cold. Though it’s more commonly eaten cold and topped with whipped cream or other toppings like fresh berries, toffee sauce or caramel sauce.
Cheesecake is usually made with some kind of graham cracker. But you can use any base you like. A popular choice is a crushed oreo biscuit base, or a ginger biscuit base.
Cheesecake is the official state dessert of New York State. New Yorkers love cheesecake so it’s no surprised that they have a cheesecake named after them. I mean who wouldn’t want cheesecake to be the official dessert of their home town? Any excuse to eat it right?
Over 100 cheesecakes were consumed during the seven years that “The Golden Girls” was in production! Now, according to insider sources, the cast was the only group to enjoy these cheesecakes. Would you get sick of eating cheesecake every day?
A Basque cheesecake is burnt on purpose. A Basque cheesecake is a popular type of cheesecake from the Basque region in Spain. It has a distinctively burnt top and sides and is baked at a high temperature, leaving the middle silky smooth and the outer edge caramelized.
The best cheesecake is a simple one. Graham cracker biscuit base, vanilla filling and a strawberry compote topping. Yum.
What Was Your Favorite Fact?
There you have it – just some of the interesting facts about this beloved dessert! Cheesecake is more than just a delicious treat; it’s an experience that everyone should enjoy! No matter where you are in the world, be sure to grab a slice (or two) of this amazing dessert and make your day!