Howdy folks. For all you foodies and cheesecake lovers out there, today is Blueberry Cheesecake Day! This typical American dish consists of the original cheesecake, smothered in blueberry compote. Sounds delicious, right?
Cheesecake is a sweet dessert that consists of fresh soft cheese, cream cheese or cottage cheese, eggs and sugar on a crust made from crushed graham crackers, crushed cookies, or pastry of sponge cake. They can be prepared baked or unbaked and are often served topped with fruit, chocolate or whipped cream. There are multiple takes on the original cheesecake. However, this day honours the blueberry cheesecake.
Although flavoured cheesecake is a rather new phenomenon, the original plain cheesecake dates back to ancient Greece. When the Romans conquered Greece, the tasty secret fell firmly into their hands. The Romans named this cake placenta, derived from the Greek term plakous (Ancient Greek: πλακοῦ). The sweet cake was also known as libum, and it was often used as an offering at their temples to their gods. Small cheesecakes were also served to athletes during the first Olympic Games held in 776 B.C, on the Isle of Delos.
The Americans adopted this recipe with the invention of the New York Cheesecake. In 1929, owner of the legendary Turf Restaurant in New York City, Arnold Reuben, claimed that his family invented the first cream-cheesecake recipe, stating that all other bakeries relied on cottage cheese. Legend has it that Reuben was served a cheese pie in his home and instantly fell madly in love with the dessert, which inspired him to create the perfect cheesecake to serve in his restaurant. This dish became very popular with people who frequented Reuben’s Broadway restaurant. And so, the quintessential American dessert was born.
Nowadays, cheesecake is popular all across the globe. However, many countries have changed the recipe slightly to suit their tastes. Italy has combined two of the world’s favourite desserts to create its very own Tiramisu Cheesecake. Bosnia and Herzegovina had a similar idea, and decided to create a Baklava Cheesecake, because if you can’t decide which dessert to have, just merge them together, right? The Germans and Poles use a type of curd cheese, called “quark cheese”, in their interpretation of this scrumptious dessert. Whereas, the Japanese emulsify cornstarch and eggs, creating a flan-like filling.
So, go ahead and honour this wonderful day by creating your own blueberry cheesecake. Failing that, if you’re in the US of A then you can head to the Cheesecake Factory – an infamous dessert chain which features over 50 signature cheesecakes and desserts! But remember, you can’t have strawberry, you can’t have chocolate, you can’t have vanilla, it has to be blueberry!
Written by Emma Wynne – Robert Schuman Communications Trainee