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NEW YORK: Home of the Cheesecake

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheesecake

When it comes to dessert, cheesecake is a delicious and decadent option. When it comes to cheesecake, New York is the place to get it.

Although you typically hear it called “New York Cheesecake,” its birthplace was actually on the other side of the globe. It is believed that cheesecake was a popular dish in ancient Greece because it was mentioned in a book written on the art of making cheesecakes by a Greek physician, Aegimus.

Swedish cheesecake (Ostkaka)
Swedish cheesecake (Ostkaka)
South African Rose Cheesecake
South African Rose Cheesecake

In 1872, a man named William Lawrence from Chester, New York, developed the modern version of cheesecake that we know and love today. The typical American cheesecake is made with heavy cream or sour cream. It is rich and dense and has a smooth and creamy consistency.

It is believed that cheesecake was a popular dish in ancient Greece because it was mentioned in a book written on the art of making cheesecakes by a Greek physician, Aegimus.

July 30th has been unofficially declared “National Cheesecake Day” in the U.S.

We associate cheesecake with New York, but all around the world, countries have their own adaptation of the cheesecake based on the different kinds of cheeses that are used in the cake. In the U.S., we use cream cheese, in Italy, they use ricotta, in Germany, the Netherlands, and Poland, they use quark.

German-style cheesecake (Käsekuchen) uses quark
German-style cheesecake (Käsekuchen) uses quark

In Asia, cheesecake is lighter in flavor, typically green tea, lychee and mango flavors, and has a spongier texture to it. In Japan, the use of eggs and cornstarch makes the cake more flan-like. In Australia, the cake is usually unbaked and consists of flavors such as chocolate, passion fruit, raspberry, lemon, vanilla and caramel.  Italy makes cheesecake the way the ancient Romans did-with honey and ricotta cheese, which makes the cake drier than the American version.

Polish cheesecake (Sernik)
Polish cheesecake (Sernik)

Sweden takes on an interesting adaptation of cheesecake. The dessert is called Ostkaka. It is baked in an oven and uses a special kind of milk that curdles while baking. Alternative recipes include cottage cheese to get the right texture for the dessert. Traditionally, the cake is served with jam and whipped cream.

Take a look at these photos that display different cheesecakes from around the world. Also, CLICK HERE for a traditional New York cheesecake recipe so you can make one for yourself.

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