(CNN) — Say cheese – July 30 is National Cheesecake Day!
What do cheesecake and the Olympics have in common? The answer might surprise you. The creamy confection we now consider a treat was thought to be a fantastic source of energy in ancient Greece. In fact, cheesecake was served to the first Olympians in 776 B.C.
In the 1870s, dairy farmer William Lawrence of Chester, New York, accidentally made what we now know as cream cheese. And, German-American Arnold Reuben (of sandwich fame) is credited with creating the cream cheese-based recipe for what we now know as New York-style cheesecake.
Cheesecake can either be baked or refrigerated. The main difference is the latter recipe doesn’t include eggs. The classic cheesecake recipe typically contains cream cheese, either sour or heavy cream, vanilla, lemon juice and sugar. The mixture is poured into a pre-baked crust, most popularly made out of graham crackers.
The humble cheesecake has come a long way since its conception, but, like the Olympics, this American favorite has stood the test of time and certainly deserves a gold medal.