Cheescake: A “Rich” History.
The sweet, creamy, cool cake with a crushed cookie like crust that is Cheesecake is a legendary dessert staple for a reason. Today, Cheesecake is synonymous with New York, but it turns out it’s been around much longer than the beloved New York or American version…4,000 years longer to be precise.
The first “cheese cake” is believed to have been created on the Greek island of Samos. It was simply made from flour, wheat, honey and cheese. Considered a good source of energy there is evidence that it was served to athletes during the first Olympic Games in 776 B.C. It was also used as a Greek wedding cake.
When the Romans conquered Greece, the cheesecake was also pillaged. The Romans put their own spin on the cake by including crushed cheese and eggs. It was then baked under a hot brick and served warm. As the Romans expanded their empire, the cheesecake expanded its reach. Soon, individual European countries created their own variations using ingredients native to each region.
It was not until the 18th century that cheesecake would start to look like something we recognize in the United States today. Beaten eggs were incorporated instead of yeast and the removal of the overpowering yeast flavor made cheesecake taste more like a dessert. And when Europeans immigrated to America, so came the cheesecake.
The American Cheesecake…A Happy Accident.
Cream cheese was an American addition to the cake. In 1872, by sheer accident, a New York dairy farmer was attempting to replicate the French cheese Neufchatel. Instead, he stumbled upon a process which resulted in the creation of cream cheese. Three years later, a new product was born, packaged in foil and distributed to local stores.
New York Style Cheesecake…Pure and Unadorned.
The Classic New York style cheesecake is served with just the cake – no embellishments. This famously smooth-tasting cake gets its signature flavor from extra egg yolks in the cream cheese cake mix. By the 1900s, cheesecake popularity was at a peak. New York Restaurants would actively compete on which had the best cheesecake.
At Alpine, we have respect for those of you who are purists and prefer your cheesecake straight up New York Style. But we are also committed to providing our customers with more exploratory palates a multitude of cheesecake options.
Please come in and explore all you want. We serve Chocolate, Pumpkin, Chocolate, Strawberry, Lemon, Butterfinger, Apple Crumb, Oreo, Fan, Peanut Butter, Rocky Road, California, Brownie, Key Lime, and Butterfinger. Choose (if you can) your favorite.