December 16, 2017 · Kitchen Home Improvement · (No comments)

By Gerene Schendel

I am a huge fan of the TV show the Golden Girls. I love those three witty women who retained a friendship through the years. Dorothy’s little old Siscilian Mom, Sophia completed the circle. I can’t tell you how many episodes I’ve watched and right in the middle of the table sits a (you guessed it) cheesecake! Each with a fork and a tale of woe which proves that cheesecake is the ultimate comfort food at any age.

It appears that the only cheesecake enjoyed on the program was New York Style, and that left out a whole array of cheesecake flavors the Golden Girls were missing out on!

Missing from that kitchen table, were nine of the most popular flavors of cheesecake resounding from the voices of America. There are no sure statistics on amount consumed per person or for that matter by the population in general, but most tend to stick with one flavor when they find the “right fit”.

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Strawberry is a huge favorite right after New York Style probably from experimenting with different fruit toppings that were added to top New York Style cheesecake. Cherry again is quite popular, the tartness combined with cheesecake is delicious. Lemon ranks a huge favorite with many cheesecake lovers, after all it was added to some of the first cheesecakes. There seem to be many opinions on how much lemon to add. Some prefer a slight lemon taste and others enjoy the sour flavor melded with the creamy mixture. Blueberry is again hailed as a favorite. Recently with the high marks that blueberries have recieved by Scientists and health experts alike, whom have discovered the benefits of blueberries may be as far reaching at preventing some cancers and heart disease. Also noted are the facts that blueberries had “the strongest impact for reversing memory loss”. It’s believed that blueberries also prevent urinary tract infections.

Flavors added to cheesecake develop as fast as inspiration strikes. As ingredients were developed ( cookies,graham crackers, etc.) so did the creative process in which the ingredients could be used to enhance common foods. Okay maybe cheesecake doesn’t fall under the catagory of common food, but isn’t it divine? As history states, William Lawrence of Chester, N.Y., accidentally developed a method of producing cream cheese while trying to duplicate the French Neufchantel around 1872. Following shortly, a dairyman living in South Edmeston, N.Y. produced a silky version for the Empire Cheese Company, which was later sold under the brand name Philadelphia Cream Cheese. Matt Sartwell, a resident scholar at the Kitchen Arts and Letter stores in Manhattan, explains, “The New York-style cheesecake we know depended on the development of this cheese.” He also added that the graham cracker crust, another American innovation, would have been impossible before the cracker was introduced early this century.

Soon nothing was off limits as flavors were either approved or disapproved. Recipes started circulating and celebrated bakers readily began experimenting with various ingredients. Chocolate became a desired delicacy in cheesecake form, and is the” right fit” for me. Another all time favorite is Turtle cheesecake, chocolate, caramel and pecan peices make for a lucious combination. Pumpkin cheesecake used to dress the Holidays as an approved seasonal dessert. But not any longer, Pumpkin has gained an expanding audience recently and become a year round choice for many.

Gaining in favor with many over the last couple of years are the celebrated low carb varieties. After all depriving your tastebuds of the sweets it sometimes craves can make you go off your diet plan all together. This option has made low carb lovers rejoice! Complex as this process has been to stay within the sufficent guidelines, there is hardly a taste difference between regular cheesecake and low carb selections. Nothing like having your cheesecake and eating it too! Key lime deserves an honorable mention here, the refreshing cool combination of ingredients carries you away to paradise.

Whether you are mastering the art of baking the perfect cheesecake, giving as a gift or enjoying one just for pure pleasure, there is nothing more satisfying than seeing anothers face light up when you serve cheesecake. New flavors are always on the horizon just waiting for you to discover.

About the Author: Gerene Schendel has been following her passion for gourmet cheesecake, dessert cakes and chocolate ever since she can remember. She invites you to follow your bliss…

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