The History of Cheesecake: Who Made it First? (2024)

Over 4,000 years ago in the fifth century BC, the ancient Greeks on the island of Samos created the earliest known cheesecake. This rudimentary cheesecake was made with patties of fresh cheese that were then pounded smooth with flour and honey. The creation was then baked on an earthenware griddle before being enjoyed by the masses. Back then, cheesecake was considered a great source of energy and there is evidence showing it was served to athletes during the first Olympic Games in 776 BC. Cheesecake was also popular as a wedding dessert!

During the late medieval ages in Europe, cheesecake transformed to include a pastry base in a tart form. The first English cookbook, written in 1390, included multiple variations of the cheesecake recipe that included eggs and various flavor profiles. For the next five centuries, almost every English cookbook included at least one cheesecake recipe, signifying the love the English people had for the delicious dessert!

Since the English loved their cheesecake, it is not surprising that the delicacy made its way to the American colonies. In the 1730s, Philadelphia became home to the "Cheesecake House" tavern! Martha Washington's prized and gifted cookbook features three different cheesecake recipes, one of which being a cheesecake without a crust. These recipes were also flavored with rosewater and other spices. In the 19th century, cheesecake recipes began to feature more subtle ingredients like lemon and vanilla.

In the 1930s, the basis of the Americanized cheesecake changed dramatically. Traditional curd cheese was phased out and replaced with cream cheese, creating a creamier, richer, and tastier treat. Thus, the cheesecake recipes were transforming and the New York cheesecake was born! One of the most famous cheesecake options, the signature and smooth taste comes from the extra egg yolks in the creamy cheesecake mix. By the 1900s, New Yorkers became obsessed with the dessert and virtually every establishment offered some variation of cheesecake on its menu. Today, restaurants and eateries are no different - almost everyone offers some type of cheesecake on their menu!

Does the history of cheesecake make you crave a delectably smooth slice? Whether you live on Long Island or elsewhere in the United States, order from Jonathan Lord Cheesecakes & Desserts! Our recipe has been perfected over the years and we use only the finest quality ingredients to create velvety smooth, rich, and creamy cheesecakes. For more information or to place an order, please don't hesitate to contact us today! We have countless flavors to choose from that can suit any pallet!

The History of Cheesecake: Who Made it First? (2024)


The History of Cheesecake: Who Made it First? ›

Over 4,000 years ago in the fifth century BC, the ancient Greeks on the island of Samos created the earliest known cheesecake. This rudimentary cheesecake was made with patties of fresh cheese that were then pounded smooth with flour and honey.

Who made the first cheesecake? ›

The ancient Greeks, by the fifth century BC, made the earliest known rudimentary cheesecakes (plakous meaning “flat mass”), consisting of patties of fresh cheese pounded smooth with flour and honey and cooked on an earthenware griddle. In late medieval Europe, cheesecake remerged in tart form with a pastry base.

Did cheesecake originate in Philadelphia? ›

Food historians say the cheesecake dates back to ancient Greece. Later, in medieval England and then colonial America, cheesecakes made from curd cheeses were all the rage. A widely referenced history by food historian Gil Marks notes that Philadelphia had a tavern called “Cheesecake House” in the 18th century.

Why is cheesecake called cheesecake? ›

Cheesecake is called "cheesecake" because does not typically contain yeast, and has a crust. Whether it's baked or not, cheesecake is really a form of pie with a crust on the bottom. Most baked cheesecakes use custard as the filling made up of eggs, milk, sugar, salt, vanilla or other flavors.

Where was Cheesecake Factory originated? ›

Our first restaurant opened in Beverly Hills, California in 1978 with the initial intention of promoting the sale of cheesecakes and other baked desserts to other foodservice operators, retailers and distributors.

What is a fact about cheesecake? ›

Fun fact: Cheesecake actually isn't a cake. It doesn't have to be baked. The base is made from crushed cookies, graham crackers, sponge cake or some sort of pastry. The filling is usually made from a soft cheese that contains cream cheese, eggs and sugar.

Is cheesecake a cake or a pie? ›

The structure of cheesecake is composed of a somewhat pastry shell with a custard-like filling and sometimes contains fruit. Despite the confusing terminology, cheesecake is by no means a cake. Also, since cheesecake isn't topped with pastry, it cannot be a pie. Cheesecake is, and forever will be, a tart.

What state is known for cheesecake? ›

New York is not the only place in America that puts its own spin on cheesecakes. In Chicago, sour cream is added to the recipe to keep it creamy. Meanwhile, Philadelphia cheesecake is known for being lighter and creamier than New York style cheesecake and it can be served with fruit or chocolate toppings.

What are the three types of cheesecake? ›

New York style cheesecake, classic cheesecake, and no bake cheesecake are the most popular types of cheesecakes, but the best cheesecake flavor is the one that you find irresistible — and that may be different for everyone.

What is a cheesecake in American slang? ›

cheesecake noun (WOMEN)

[ U ] mainly US old-fashioned slang. photographs of sexually attractive young women wearing very few clothes, or the women who appear in such photographs.

What is a cake without cream called? ›

Oil Cake. Oil cakes follow the same principles as butter cakes, but use oil as the source of fat. Because oil is liquid at room temperature, oil cake recipes skip the step of creaming the fat and sugar; usually the oil is incorporated into the wet ingredients, which are whisked or folded into the dry ingredients.

What is the difference between NY cheesecake and regular cheesecake? ›

Regular cheesecake relies on heavy cream and sour cream to thin the batter and create a silkier, creamier texture. New York cheesecake is heavy on the cream cheese which is why it's so dense and rich. Extra cream cheese isn't the only thing that makes New York cheesecake so special.

Who made cheesecake popular? ›

New Yorkers have competed for recognition as the purveyors of the original recipe ever since. Although renowned for his iconic sandwiches, Arnold Reuben (1883-1970), a German-Jewish immigrant who came to America at a young age, is widely attributed with inventing the New York Style cheesecake.

Was cheesecake invented in Philadelphia? ›

While many assume cheesecake originated in New York, it dates back much much further! Over 4,000 years ago in the fifth century BC, the ancient Greeks on the island of Samos created the earliest known cheesecake.

Who is the CEO of cheesecake? ›

David Overton, age 77, serves as our Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Overton co-founded our predecessor company in 1972 with his parents, Oscar and Evelyn Overton. He is also a founding member and director of our Foundation.

Is New York cheesecake the original? ›

While many people believe that this decadent treat originated in New York City—and understandably so, as it is the Big Apple's signature dessert—accounts of cakes made of cheese date back to ancient Greece.

Who invented cream cheese? ›

Around 1873, William A. Lawrence, a dairyman in Chester, New York, was the first to mass produce an unripened fresh cheese known generically as cream cheese. In 1872, he began manufacturing Neufchâtel cheese. By adding cream to the process, he developed a richer cheese that he called "cream cheese".

Who invented jiggly cheesecake? ›

What is this? The recipe was created by Japanese chef Tomotaro Kuzuno who was inspired by käsekuchen cheesecake (a German variant) during a trip to Berlin in the 1960s. It is less sweet and has fewer calories than standard Western-style cheesecakes, containing less cheese and sugar.

Who invented burnt cheesecake? ›

Chef Santiago Rivera originally created it for La Viña de la Parte Vieja restaurant in San Sebastian, and has since had to build a bakery solely for satisfying local demand. There are no frills at all to this cheesecake and it's just what it says it is: a cake of cheese.

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