Some lines you just don’t cross; some unspoken conventions which we, as a civilization, mindlessly contend to and accept as final declaration. One such natural rule of foodology regards the age-old acceptance of New York-Style Cheesecake as the reigning contender in the world of cheesecakery. Until now.
Contrary to popular belief, New York did NOT invent the cheesecake, nor is their style the only one worth mentioning. Cheesecake dates back all the way to Ancient Greece, during which it was served to athletes during the very first Olympic Games, in 776 B.C. From there, this luscious cake – or pie – spread beyond the Romans from Greece to across Europe. So how did it get to America? Centuries later, immigrants brought their cheesecake-making skills with them to the New World, from which it spread in popularity, and technique, to become the unique dessert we know it as today.
From this evolution, cheesecake has certainly made its mark across the Northeast, primarily in New York AND Philadelphia. That’s right, the City of Brotherly Love is not only known for its cheesesteaks, but also for its attempts to out-style the New York Cheesecake legacy.
Do you know the difference between New York-Style and Philadelphia-Style Cheesecake? Take the following quiz to find out!
New York-Style Cheesecake is usually:
- A) Light and creamy
- B) Fluffy with a Signature light brown exterior
- C) Tall and crumbly
- D) Heavy and rich
Philadelphia-Style Cheesecake is usually:
- A) Smooth and dense
- B) Rich in both consistency AND flavor
- C) Light and fluffy
- D) Smooth and creamy
New York-Style Cheesecake relies upon:
- A) Heavy cream
- B) Mozzarella cheese
- C)Farmer’s cheese
- D) Quark cheese
Philadelphia-Style Cheesecake gets its unique characteristics from:
- A) A perfect blend of pure cream cheese, cream, eggs, and sugar to create a rich consistency
- B) The use of cottage cheese and lemon for distinct texture and flavor
- C)A well guarded secret recipe regarding both ingredients and the preparation process
- D) The use of gelatin as a binding ingredient
The answers to the above questions are as follows: D, C, A, C
In general, New York-Style Cheesecake tends to be:
- Tall (Usually made in a 5” or 6” tall springform pan)
- Rich in consistency
- Possessing a light brown exterior
Whereas Philadelphia-Style Cheesecake is usually:
- Light in texture
- Rich in flavor
So what style do you prefer? A well-known, dense cheesecake from New York, or a lesser-known, equally as reputable fluffy cheesecake from Philadelphia? I’ll take one of each!