Separately, cheese and cake are beloved all over the world. But taken together, they attract a veritable cult following. Cheesecake is thought to have originated in ancient Greece, as evidenced by its earliest mention in Greek physician Aegimus’ book on the art of making cheesecakes. Even Cato the Elder—that’s right, the Cato—recorded cheesecake recipes in his writings. Since then, cheesecake has been passed down through the generations and entered into the fabric of numerous cultures. On July 30, we take a moment to appreciate this uniquely decadent dessert in honor of National Cheesecake Day.
Why We Love National Cheesecake Day
A. It's easy to transform a cheesecake into a masterpiece
Cheesecake is rather dull-looking (but not tasting!)—but it's easy to transform into a masterpiece. All you have to do is add a topping. Pop a few blueberries, strawberries, or cherries on top, add a dribble of chocolate sauce, and voila—you've turned your kitchen into a Michelin Star restaurant.
B. Every country has its own version of cheesecake
You could travel the world and eat nothing but cheesecake (although we don't necessarily recommend that). Almost every country has its own spin on cheesecake, with slight variations in the types of cheese used and the way the dessert is baked.
C. Cheesecake has a fascinating history
Cheesecake was originally invented by the ancient Greeks. When Rome conquered Greece, the Romans loved the recipe so much that they coopted it and modified it to include crushed cheese and eggs, and to bake it under a hot brick and serve it warm.
How to Celebrate National Cheesecake Day
1. Take a trip around the world through cheesecake
Why get on a plane when you can travel the world through your mouth? Taste test regional variations of cheesecake by visiting your local Italian, Russian, German, Polish, or French bakeries.
2. Indulge in the most famous cheesecake on Earth
You can't celebrate National Cheesecake Day without celebrating one of America's proudest exports: New York Style Cheesecake. Unlike other cheesecakes, New York Style is heavy on the heavy cream, cream cheese, and eggs and has a dense, smooth, creamy consistency. Chances are, when you think of cheesecake, you're thinking of New York Style.
3. Bake a homemade cheesecake
Don't be fooled by that rich, complex taste—cheesecake is actually super easy to make. Treat your friends and family (and yourself, of course) to a homemade cheesecake that's fresh out of the oven. With an endless array of toppings, garnishes, spices, and flavorings to choose from, your creation is sure to be one-of-a-kind.