According to food historians, cheesecake probably originated in 776 B.C. when it was served to athletes at the Olympic games. After a roundabout journey across Europe, where it was made with curd cheeses like ricotta and cottage, cheesecake made the trip across the Atlantic with immigrant cooks.
The real breakthrough in the cheesecake story came in the late 19th century when a New York dairyman came up with cream cheese by adding cream along with milk to his cheese. From there, it was only a matter of time before blocks of foil-wrapped Philadelphia-brand cream cheese were transformed into cheesecakes. Cheesecake has always been one of our favorite desserts, and although we’re not runners, we’d like to think we could manage a few sprints if it meant a cheesecake, like the honey version printed here, at the finish line.
—By Jean Kressy