New York Cheesecake Origin

New York Cheesecake Origin: The History Behind Our Favorite Dessert

Believe it or not, New York cheesecake is not the only type of cheesecake. There are so many different types of cheesecakes out there, but by far the most popular one is the New York Cheesecake. 

But what is a cheesecake? A cheesecake is a soft cheese custard that’s typically created using cream cheese, eggs, sugar, and a variety of flavorings or garnishes. Although it has been around for a very long time (like Ancient Greek times!) cheesecake has only recently developed into the creamy, silky, smooth cheesecake that we all know and love.

The remarkable thing about cheesecakes is that they are inexpensive (although the most expensive cheesecake cost $5000!), easy to make, and don’t require any special ingredients. The most important thing to remember is that fresh, soft white creme cheese is always preferred to hard yellow cheese.

Since the NY Cheesecake is the most popular out there, let’s take a look at the New York Cheesecake Origins!

What is New York Cheesecake?

New York Cheesecake is incredibly dense and rich, yet creamy, and depends heavily on cream cheese for flavor and structure. Heavy cream, eggs, and sugar are also usually used.

Sour cream is occasionally used in place of heavy cream in New York cheesecakes, either mixed into the filling or put as a distinct (lightly sweetened) layer on top. But all in all, a New York cheesecake is a very simple dessert with simple ingredients.

New York Cheesecake

New York Cheesecake is arguably the most famous cheesecake. Many “regular cheesecakes” call themselves “New York-style,” but in reality, they are just normal, regular cheesecakes. Regular cheesecakes are frequently flavored with a wide variety of different components (from chocolate to fruit). They are lighter, fluffier, shorter, and sweeter and topped with sauces, candies, and other garnishes.

If you want to find out more about the difference between Regular and New York Cheesecake, take a look here.

The Origin of New York Cheesecake

Let’s go back a couple of years to 1872 when William A. Lawrence, a dairy farmer from Chester, New York, attempted to make the French Neufchatel cheese.

Although he failed, it accidentally led him to the creation of what we know now as cream cheese. Three years after the creation, a New York grocery company approached him about modifying it to an even richer version.

They added more heavy cream to make this cheese easier to spread. Packed in foil, it was subsequently supplied to nearby stores under the brand label Philadelphia Cream Cheese. Later, in 1903, the Phoenix Cheese Company bought this business which was subsequently acquired in 1928 by Kraft Foods Inc.

Philadelphia cream cheese was originally a New York product. A.L. Reynolds adopted the name as a marketing gimmick since dairy farmers in Pennsylvania normally produced creamier cheese products as opposed to those in New York at the time.

How to cool a cheesecake

Back in the 1900s, cheesecakes became incredibly popular among New Yorkers. Arnold Reuben, also known for his specialty sandwiches, is credited with creating the New York cheesecake. He was born in Germany in 1883 and moved to New York City when he was still young.

He was invited to a dinner party in New York, where he was offered his first cheese pie. He was so fascinated by this dish that he started experimenting with the cheesecake recipe and eventually created a new and improved version of an error made in the original recipe in 1872. As the owner of several Manhattan restaurants, Arnold Reuben single-handedly made New Yorkers addicted to cheesecake.

According to New Yorkers, the great cheesecake enthusiasts and the great cheesecake producers are said to be in New York. As the demand for the renowned New York cheesecakes grew, so did rivalry among bakers in the Big Apple. The introduction of graham cracker crumbs during this period led to their becoming the next traditional ingredient that was widely used as the crust for cheesecake recipes.

Why is it Called New York Cheesecake?

Today, each restaurant has a unique version of New York Cheesecake. There is no elaborate reason why it’s called New York Cheesecake. 

It simply took this name because cheesecake had become so popular in New York and according to New Yorkers, cheesecake was truly cheesecake when it was made in New York.

What is Special About New York Cheesecake?

New York Cheesecake has some characteristics that set it apart from other cheesecakes.

Higher Creme Cheese Content

The amount of cream cheese used in the cheesecake is what makes it so rich. Regular cheesecake uses heavy cream and sour cream to thin the batter and provide a silkier and creamier texture. New York Cheesecake is heavy on cream cheese, which is why it is quite thick and dense.

Why cheesecake is so good

More Eggs

New York cheesecake is unique not just because of the extra cream cheese. For a smooth consistency, additional eggs and egg yolks are also used. The cheesecake’s tight texture results from the egg binding the cake together.

These two are the major factors why New York Cheesecake stand-out from the other cheesecakes. They may look quite similar, but trust me, they are all different in so many ways.

Enough talking. If you want to make a delicious New York Cheesecake, immerse yourself in this Youtube video filled with cheesecake goodness.

There might be no profound reason why New York Cheesecake is called New York Cheesecake but there is one thing for sure. It is one of the most popular cheesecake varieties out there and one that is loved by many people, including me!

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