40 Cheesecake Facts Every Foodaholic Must Know!
People like cheesecake for its smooth texture and delicious taste. While almost everyone loves munching on the sweet slice of a cheesecake, little do they know that there’s a lot more to this dessert than cheese, calories, and sugar. Check out these 40 amazing cheesecake facts that will make you adore it even more.
Protein, vitamins, and much more!
A single 8″ New York cheesecake (approx. 1,200 g) has around 3,900 calories. It is a rich source of nutrition that has over 300 g of total carbohydrates and approximately 67 g of protein. Other than that, it will also provide 274 g of fat along with vitamin D (6.1 mcg), calcium (620 mg), iron (7.7 mg), and potassium (1,094 mg).
Cheesecake was not invented in New York.
The New York-style cheesecake is popular around the world, but little do people know that cheesecakes did not originate in New York or America. The earliest known cheesecake is from the 5th century BCE, which was found in Greece. The Greek cheesecake or plakountopoiikon sungramma consisted of patties of fresh cheese and flour and honey for sweetener.
The modern cheesecake was invented in the 1900s. Arnold Reuben, the owner of the famous Reuben’s Restaurant and Turf Restaurant, is regarded as the inventor of modern cheesecake. He created the New York-style cheesecake in 1929 using his Jewish cheesecake recipe with kosher ingredients. He’s also known for inventing the iconic traditional Reuben sandwich.
Cheesecake, Greece, and the Olympics!
Long before the New Yorkers could even imagine a dessert like cheesecake, the Greeks served it to their athletes. At the first ever Olympic games at Olympia (Greece) in 776 BCE, the Greeks gave cheesecake to their athletes to eat for energy and power. The cheesecake was also served as a ceremonial dessert at Greek weddings to symbolize the enduring commitment of the newlywed couple.
Cheesecake was invented much before its name.
Although the rudimental cheesecake was invented by the Greeks centuries ago, the name “cheesecake” did not come into existence for a long time. The first ever English cookbook, The Forme of Cury (c.1390), also had recipes for cheese tarts called “Sambocade” and “Tart de Bry,” which were almost identical to the modern cheesecakes, but it was not until the mid-15th century that the term “cheesecake” came into existence. However, the modern cheesecake was invented much later, in the early 1900s.
American cheesecake was the result of an accidental invention.
America’s favorite New York-style cheesecake is incomplete without its signature ingredient – cream cheese. What’s more interesting is that the maker of cream cheese, William A. Lawrence, wasn’t even trying to make cream cheese in the first place. He was trying to replicate a French Cheese Neuchatel in 1872 when he stumbled upon the process of creating cream cheese. Years later, the cheesecake got its famous smooth taste from cream cheesecake mix and extra egg yolk.
A cheesecake recipe printed in a local newspaper led to the origin of The Cheesecake Factory.
Another one of the interesting cheesecake facts is that the world’s most renowned cheesecake makers, The Cheesecake Factory, original cheesecake recipe, is from a 1940s local newspaper in Detroit. Evelyn Overton, the founder of The Cheesecake Factory, baked a cheesecake using the recipe given in the newspaper and got oodles of compliments for the fine taste of the cheesecake. That is when the idea of launching The Cheesecake Factory struck her. Later in 1972, she moved to LA with her husband Oscar and started The Cheesecake Factory.
Cheesecake is not really a cake!
The form of a cheesecake looks like a cake, but it has no property to qualify as a cake. It has no flour and baking soda, or baking powder in it. Moreover, cheesecake also does not have a bread-like structure. Also, a cake rises when baked, whereas a cheesecake does not. A cheesecake is more of a tart than a cake.
A cheesecake can be baked or made unbaked.
The two methods of making a cheesecake involve either baking it or chilling it down. A baked cheesecake is prepared by using heat to give a creamy and smooth texture to the mixture of cheese, eggs, and sugar spread over a cookie or sponge cake crust. In comparison, an unbaked cheesecake is refrigerated to give the mixture a smooth, custard-like texture. It does not contain eggs but has gelatin in it.
Cheesecakes are versatile.
Cheesecake originated in Greece, gained popularity in New York, and spread all across the world. Each place has tweaked the recipe to their liking, and therefore you can find different versions of cheesecake at different places. NY-style cheesecake from the USA, Japanese cotton or soufflé cheesecake, Käsekuchen from Germany, Sernik from Poland, Fiadone from France, and Chhena Poda from India are some popular versions of cheesecakes from around the world.
Cheesecake can have different bases or no base at all!
Traditionally, cheesecakes are made on a cookie crumb crust. However, it is not essential. You can try different crusts like shortbread crust, graham cracker crust, pastry crust, etc. Or you can also bake a cheesecake that has no crust at all. You can mix everything together and bake it without spreading it on a crust.
There are savory cheesecakes too.
While sweet cheesecakes are considered desserts, savory cheesecake is regarded as an appetizer. It has ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, and pesto in it, which makes it an excellent starter. Other ingredients of a savory cheesecake are dry breadcrumbs for the crust, cream cheese, eggs, basil leaves, etc.
The most expensive cheesecake is…
Raffaele Ronca serves the world’s most expensive cheesecake, which costs a whopping $5,000! The ingredients like water buffalo cheese from Italy, 200-year-old cognac, Hennessy Paradis, Madagascar beans vanilla, white truffle from Alba, gold flake sprinkles, etc., make this cake so expensive. The cake also has a fresh honeycomb block on top of it with a chocolate “RR” logo covered in gold. Raffaele Ronca’s cheesecake holds the world record for being the most expensive cheesecake ever!
The largest-ever cheesecake was…
The Cheeseberry Company in Stavropol of the Russian Federation created the largest-ever cheesecake on 23 September 2017, which weighed 4240 kg, i.e., over 9300 lbs. The cake was 0.85 m tall with a diameter of 2.8 m. The cake was prepared on Stravropol’s main square on the occasion of the 240th anniversary of the city.
The Cheesecake Factory sells more than 30 varieties of cheesecake.
The Cheesecake Factory sells over 30 different flavors of cheesecake under a single roof. Although they keep on adding new flavors and discontinuing the ones that do not receive a good response from the customers, some flavors, like Lemon Raspberry, Red Velvet, Strawberry, Original Cheesecake, etc., are some of the staples at 308 locations of The Cheesecake Factory around the world.
South African cheesecake
With a crust of digestive biscuits, a South African cheesecake has a filling made of cream cheese, whipped cream, and gelatin. It is not necessarily baked and sometimes has Amarula fruit liqueur in it. African cheesecakes are flop proof and fuss-free
Cheesecake from the Philippines
The Philippines has ube cheesecake, which has a crushed graham cracker crust with an upper layer of cream cheese, and ube halaya – a Filipino jam made of purple yam. It can be baked as well as refrigerated. The taste is tangy, sweet, and refreshing!
Japanese cotton cheesecake
The Japanese cotton cheesecake or soufflé-style cheesecakes are wobbly and have an airy texture like a chiffon cake. It is made with cream cheese, butter, eggs, and sugar. Chef Tomotaro Kuzuno invented Japanese cheesecake after being impressed by kasekuchen, the German cheesecake.
Chhena poda of India
While India is popular for its spices and spicy foods, it also has its own cheesecake version. Chhena Poda, the Indian version of cheesecake, is from Odisha, an Indian state. It is made by baking a mixture of sugar, nuts, and chhena – a variety of cottage cheese. It tastes very similar to basque from Spain.
Kasekuchen, or German-style cheesecake, is made with a short-crust pastry instead of usual graham crackers and has quark – a soured milk product on top of it along with eggs and fruits.
Bulgarian cheesecake or banitsa is a sour cheesecake that has white cheese, eggs, and yogurt in it and belongs to the borek-Turkish family of pastries. It is traditionally made using Bulgarian feta cheese and phyllo dough.
Spanish basque cheesecake
The burnt top layer of a basque cheesecake conceals a soft texture filling of eggs, sugar, creams, and cream cheese. It has no crust, and it rather creates a crust when being baked at high temperatures.
A Belgian or Dutch cheesecake has a fruity flavor with melted bittersweet chocolate in it. It also has a quark in it, and it is generally non-baked. The crust of this cheesecake is made of traditional Dutch-Belgian biscuits. The base can also be made of cookie dough or puff pastry.
A Swedish cheesecake or ostkaka is different from usual cheesecakes as it has no layers and is made by adding rennet to milk to let casein coagulate. Then it is baked in the oven and served while still warm. Also, the dairy used in a Swedish cheesecake is unpasteurized.
Zapekanka, or Russian cheesecake, is a dough ring with a filling of cottage cheese or quark in it. The crust of this cake is a mixture of quarks, eggs, semolina, and raisins. It is used as a traditional snack in kindergartens in Russia. It has a deliciously cheesy and creamy texture.
The Irish cream cheesecake has a crust made of crushed and buttered biscuits and is filled with fruit compote. The popular Ireland-style cheesecake flavors are raspberry, strawberry, black cherry, lemon curd, and passionfruit. It also has cream liquor and stout in it.
New York-style cheesecake
The New York cheesecake has three delicious layers. The bottom one is a graham cracker crust. On top of that is the cream cheese filling with a dense, rich, tangy, sweet, and creamy smooth texture. The uppermost layer of the cheesecake is sweetened sour cream. You can also top it with berries or fruit sauces.
July 30th is the National Cheesecake Day of the USA.
Every year, America celebrates the 30th day of July as National Cheesecake Day! There’s no reference as to why Americans celebrate National Cheesecake Day on July 30th, but it has been around since 1985. Interestingly, that’s not it. Americans also celebrate National Blueberry Cheesecake Day on May 26th, National Cherry Cheesecake Day on April 23rd, National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day on October 21st, and National White Chocolate Cheesecake Day on March 6th.
There were cheesecake-flavored postage stamps.
There was a time when you could buy not only cheesecake but a cheesecake-flavored postage stamp too! The Austrian postal service in 2006 issued a Häagen-Dazs cheesecake flavored postage stamp to “Let your tongue travel.” These stamps were rewarded to loyal Häagen-Dazs customers who bought ten or more scoops of Häagen-Dazs ice cream. The campaign was designed to last a month. However, the flavored stamps went out of stock in less than two weeks.
Ordering a complete cheesecake lineup from Cheesecake Factory can cost you $400!
You can try out all the cheesecake flavors at The Cheesecake Factory for $400! That’s a lot of money and loads of desserts. Ella Mielniczenko even tried to eat a slice of each cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory. However, she could not accomplish this feat, and it eventually required 47 people to finish all the slices.
Cheesecake Kit Kats are a real thing.
You can actually order a cheesecake-flavored Kit Kat from Amazon for USD 14.96! The cheesecake-flavored Kit Kat is made in Japan and weighs 120 g. It has nine mini bars inside the package. Customer reviews suggest that it tastes great, but the price is extravagant for a Kit Kat. Cheesecake flavored Kit Kat was initially launched as a limited release, but later, Nestle included it as a permanent product.
Most popular cheesecake flavors…
Chocolate, vanilla, red velvet, lemon, funfetti, and strawberry are some of the most popular cheesecake flavors, according to a BuzzFeed survey. Apart from the above, mango key lime, original cheesecake, white chocolate, raspberry, etc., are also popular among cheesecake lovers.
The cast of The Golden Girls (1985-1992) ate over 100 cheesecakes during the course of the show.
As per IMDB, the cast of the American sitcom Golden Girls ate over 100 cheesecakes during the entire course of the show that aired from 1985 to 1992. The show cast got their cheesecakes from bakeries all around the USA. What’s more interesting is that one of the actresses, Bea Arthur, did not even like cheesecake in real life.
There also exist Cheesecake shots.
Cheesecake shots are a real thing, and you can order one at a restaurant or prepare it at your own house. All you will need is crushed biscuits, melted unsalted butter, Philadelphia cheese, caster sugar, soured cream, plain chocolate, and cranberry sauce to prepare a cheesecake shot in less than 30 minutes at home.
There are dairy-free cheesecakes too.
Millions of people around the world cannot enjoy dairy-based food products like cheesecake owing to lactose intolerance. Nevertheless, restaurants like The Cheesecake Factory have introduced dairy-free vegan and allergen options in their cheesecake menu to accommodate individuals with conditions like lactose intolerance and other dairy-related allergies.
The two bakeries of The Cheesecake Factory ship cheesecakes all around the world.
The Cheesecake Factory owns only two bakery production facilities at Calabasas Hills in California and Rocky Mount in North Carolina. They produce over 70 baked desserts, including cheesecake, at these two facilities, from where it is shipped to their outlets all around the USA and other international locations. They say this business model allows them to control creativity, quality, and profitability.
America adores Red Velvet Cheesecake of The Cheesecake Factory.
In 2009, The Cheesecake Factory conducted a contest called “What’s Your Flavor” to discover a new flavor to add to their menu on National Cheesecake Day. After voting from across the USA, the Ultimate Red Velvet Cheesecake by Stepanie Gaxiola won the competition. The Cheesecake Factory donates $0.25 from the sale of each of its slices to the national hunger relief organization Feeding America which helps feed over 25 million hungry people throughout the USA each year.
Cheesecake can make you sick.
It contains a lot of ingredients that can go bad very quickly. These highly perishable ingredients make cheesecake much more prone to spoilage. Therefore, if handled poorly, a cheesecake can easily get contaminated, and you can get sick if you eat it. The most common symptoms of cheesecake food poisoning include stomachache, nausea, headache, etc., which can last for two days to one week.
Cheesecake and fruit can get along.
While most desserts and fruits don’t get along, cheesecake and fruits are a good match, so good that adding fruits makes a cheesecake taste even better. Blackberry swirl cheesecake, lemon cheesecake, passion fruit cheesecake, cherry cheesecake, cheesecake stuffed apple, strawberry cheesecakes, etc., are some of the most popular fruit-flavored cheesecakes.
Eating cheesecake during pregnancy can be dangerous!
Ingredients like unpasteurized cheese and raw eggs in a cheesecake can cause trouble during pregnancy. Such ingredients may carry bacteria like salmonella that can cause listeria, tuberculosis, and other complications. Therefore, it is essential to check the label to ensure that the ingredients in your cheesecake are pasteurized. Now it might not be one of the fun cheesecake facts, but it’s certainly one worth knowing.
A cheesecake can last as long as a week.
When you have a cheesecake baked or out of the refrigerator, it cannot last for a period longer than two hours. But if you store it in an airtight container, it can last up to three days. However, when baked with fresh ingredients and stored in a refrigerator in an apt condition, a cheesecake can last for five to seven days. If stored properly in a refrigerator, you can even make a cheesecake that lasts up to two months.
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