Amazingly, the cheesecake did not appear in the United States, but there it was definitely improved and turned into the incredible candy that we are used to. Well, the history of this classic started in Greece, around the 15th century BC
Of course, at that time the cheesecake was very simple and, obviously, it didn’t have the main ingredient that we currently use: cream cheese. The Greek recipe didn’t even have a dough base, it was just a cheese, flour and honey pie. The dish was so well known at the time that mini cheesecakes were offered to athletes during the first Olympics of the Ancient Era, in 776 BC
After Greece was conquered, this wonder ended up in the hands of the Romans. The name there changed to “placenta”, but it also became known as “libum”. At that time, cheesecake was given as an offering to the gods. In fact, one of the first records of a cheesecake recipe is from the 19th century. I BC The “libum” recipe was written by the Roman politician Marcus Porcius Cato.
After years of dominance by the Roman Empire, cheesecake spread throughout Europe and of course it arrived in the English. It was from British immigrants and colonizers that the recipe for this sweet arrived in the United States in the old model. That’s because cream cheese was only invented in 1872 when New Yorker William Lawrence tried to reproduce the famous French Neufchatel cheese at home, but ended up creating a much more creamy cheese.
Later, in 1880, the Empire Cheese Company of New York began marketing cream cheese (Philadelphia) to a NY distributor called Reynolds. Only in 1910, when the company was bought by the Kraft Foods Group, a method of pasteurizing cream cheese was discovered, which started to be commercialized on a large scale. Of course, at that time many other competitors emerged and cream cheese became popular in the United States.
It was in 1929 that Arnold Reuben, owner of the Turf restaurant (one of the most famous in the city), ate a cheese pie at home and was inspired to create the perfect version of the cheesecake with cream cheese. Before that it was possible to find cheesecakes in the city based on cottage cheese. Of course, the result was incredible and he started selling this wonder in his restaurant and, thus, created the famous New York style cheesecake 😉 Aah, the butter biscuit base was created by one of Reuben’s competitors: Leo Lindemann , from Lindy’s.
The candy was already successful at that time, but sales exploded even in the 1970s and today cheesecake is considered a classic New York dessert. But after all this explanation, you must be curious to know where to find the best cheesecakes in town, right? Rest assured that I have selected some amazing places to eat this delight!
Two Little Red Hens
Yes, it is at this Upper East Side bakery that you will probably find New York’s most beloved cheesecake. Despite the beautiful cupcakes spread over the counter, don’t be put off by the beauty and order one of the three cheesecake flavors of the house: NY, cherry or pumpkin (only in autumn).
There really are not many options, but the preparation of these wonders is what makes all the difference. The cheesecake comes surrounded by a crunchy graham cracker crust that adds the special touch. In addition, the texture is neither light nor too heavy: just ideal!
Address: 1652 2nd Ave – Manhattan
Eileen’s Special Cheesecake
With the store open since 1975, Eileen Avezzano uses as a base a family recipe that is almost a hybrid between Italian and New York style – some even suspect that the sweet takes a little bit of ricotta in addition to cream cheese.
The light texture is Eileen’s great differential, besides, of course, its dozens of flavors that range from the traditional red fruit cheesecake, to salted caramel (which I love) and options with double layers of cheesecake and mousse.
Want more? You can order cheesecakes of 6 or 10 pieces without gluten or sugar. There is also the possibility to order a dessert without adding eggs at an extra cost.
Address: 17 Cleveland Place – Manhattan
Amazingly, one of the most classic cheesecakes in the city doesn’t have a cookie or pie base, but a cake! Junior’s is practically a New York institution, after all, it has been operating since the 1950s.
In addition to the 4 physical stores in NY, it’s also worth asking for delivery, see? The cream is dense and creamy in the ideal measure. Despite the dozens of flavor options, the most requested are almost classic: the Original NY Plain Cheesecake it’s the Brooklyn Crumb Cheesecake.
Address: 386 Flatbush Avenue EXT – Brooklyn (more units here)
S & S Cheesecake
Not everything that is good is easy to find, right? The S & S cheesecake is one of the most famous in the city, but it is in a residential neighborhood in the Bronx and, even on weekdays, it is only open at 3pm. Aah, you can’t even order a slice and eat there: you have to buy the whole cheesecake and take it with you. Well, but what’s so hot about it? The golden edges, the creamy filling of the measure, the ideal proportion of the base … All this makes the cheesecake incredible!
For those who do not want to have all this work, it is possible to find their cheesecake in some restaurants in the region, such as Peter Luger Steakhouse.
Address: S & S: 222 W 238th – Bronx | Peter Luger Steakhouse: 178 Broadway – Bronx
Chikalicious Dessert Bar
For those who like innovation and trying new ways to eat “traditional” sweets, this is the place. Chikalicious makes a cheesecake more gelatinous and even half a mousse that everyone loves! The taste of classic New York cheesecake is present, but in a much lighter and more delicate way. An incredible retelling!
In addition, the presentations of the dishes here are really impressive and you will surely be surprised even after having eaten cheesecakes in all the other places mentioned.
Address: 203 E 10th St – Manhattan
Of course, some chains that have units in NY also have classic cheesecakes, such as the famous Cheesecake Factory. However, I preferred to give slightly more local options to have a more complete experience 😉
Well, but while your trip to NY doesn’t arrive, you can also reproduce some delicious recipes here on the website. In addition, there is a complete post telling the secrets to the perfect chessecake – worth a look, right?