How Cheesecake Became a Classic
By Schwan's Home Service, September 13, 2016
The history of cheesecake goes back much further than the history of New York, but there is a reason we associate this dessert favorite with the Big Apple.
Cheesecake as we know it has its roots as far back as ancient Greece, with the first recorded recipe from 230 A.D. At that time, hardened cheese was softened and mashed to make the filling. This was also the case through medieval England, where one could find a recipe for “Tart of Chese”. Later, ricotta or cottage cheese were both used to make cheesecake.
In the late 1800s a New York cheesemaker, in an attempt to recreate the French cheese Neufchatel, hit upon an unripened, creamier version and dubbed it cream cheese. It was then up to the New York restaurant owner Arnold Reuben to develop a recipe that used cream cheese to achieve a creamier filling for what was known as “cheese pie”.
The story goes that he was served cheesecake in a private home and fell in love with the dessert. He modified the hostess recipe using cream cheese to make the pie sweeter, lighter and creamier than the cottage cheese-based version. He served it at his Turf Restaurant where it became beloved by many customers, and New York cheesecake was born.
Today when we refer to New York-style cheesecake, we mean a cheesecake that is unadorned with no toppings or additional ingredients like nuts or caramel. You can enjoy a slice any time with our individually pre-sliced Classic Cheesecake. It’s perfect by itself, or as a blank slate for fabulous toppings like Sweet and Tart Blueberry Lemon Sauce, Triple Berry Orange Sauce or Cherry Compote.