Quick Recipes and Easy

A Brief History Of Cheesecake To 1545

Ever since the beginning of time, man has been striving to make the perfect cheesecake. Today, there are literally thousands of cheesecake recipes. Everyone has their favorite. But when did this craze really start? How did we get from the early days of cheesecake to the well-known New York Cheesecake that we delight in today?

Cheesecake was a very well loved dish in Ancient Greece. But when the Roman’s conquered Greece, the secret fell into the hands of the Romans and nothing’s been the same since. Really, the Roman version of cheesecake was much different from the Greek form of the tasty wonder. Roman cheesecake became known as placenta. It was sometimes baked on a pastry base and other times it was enclosed in a pastry case. The Roman cheesecake was really often used as an offering to the Gods.

In the first century BC, a gentleman by the name of Marcus Porcius Cato, came up with a wonderful recipe for cheesecake. He lived from 234 to 139 BC. He was a Roman politician. See, even politicians can have excellent taste in food. This recipe of his was the only work of his that was ever preserved, which is quite ironic since his main focus was in politics. This recipe that he came up with was often given as a temple offering.

It wasn’t until 230 AD that the first “modern” recipe for cheesecake was recorded. This was a recipe that was recorded by Athenaeus, a Greek writer. By today’s standards, this recipe, which reads as follows, would be considered laughable.

“Take cheese and pound it till smooth and pasty; place cheese in a brazen sieve; add honey and spring wheat flour. Heat in one mass, cool, and serve.”

That is the actual recipe as it was learned by archeologists. Quite crude in comparison to the elaborate cheesecake recipes that we have today.

It wasn’t until 1000 AD that cheesecake was finally brought to Fantastic Britain and Western Europe. This was done by Roman conquering armies. Shortly after this time cheesecake slowly spread throughout the area. The number of different recipes also started to increase and started to look a small more like the ones we’re used to today.

In 1545 the first cookbook containing a cheesecake recipe was printed. The book really focused more on other types of foods as it was a traditional type of cookbook. But inside was one recipe for cheesecake printed below.

To make a tarte of Chese – Take harde Chese and cutte it in slyces,and pare it, than laye it in fayre water, or in swete mylke, the space of three houres, then take it up and breake it in a morter tyll it be small, than drawe it up thorowe a strainer with the yolkes of syxe egges, and season it wyth suger and swete butter, and so bake it.

You will notice the English is quite terrible. This was how the actual recipe was printed. Obviously the English language itself has come a long way in 500 years.

Since that time, cheesecake recipes have become quite elaborate and quite excellent. New York Cheesecake is probably one of the most well loved.

Now that you know how cheesecake came to be, why not run out and get yourself a excellent slice. You deserve it, after all.

About The Author

Andrew Krause is a Chef and Pastry Chef for over 30 years, at persent I own a Gourmet Bakery called The Cheese Confectioner. You can visit my site at andies.cashhosters2.com andies.cashhosters2.com

NOTE: You are welcome to reprint this article online as long as it remains complete and unaltered (including the about the author info at the end)

About the Author

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