I’m up for this yummy holiday

Published 12:49 am Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Did you celebrate yesterday? What, you missed it? How sad for you.

Wait, you didn’t know yesterday was a holiday. No one let you know so you could take part in one of the best celebrations of the year. Again, how sad.

Well, I found out about it by accident because of a blurb at the top of an email I got from Barnes and Noble. It invited me to celebrate and offered a coupon to help kick off my participation.

I so loved the idea of such a day existing that I decided to do some research on the subject. You know enquiring minds want to know…

OK, I’ve kept you in suspense for about three paragraphs. I guess that is enough to grab your attention so maybe you’ll read the rest of this column.

Yesterday was, are you ready, drum roll please — National Cheesecake Day. Yep, there is a day set aside for the purpose of celebrating cheesecake. How great is that!

Anyway, because I am a lover of cheesecake, and because I have a policy that, “Food eaten on weekends or on holidays or on any special occasions is calorie free,” the idea of a cheesecake day is amazing.

Then I got to thinking about cheesecake — you know finding the deeper meaning behind the holiday. So, I checked out cheesecake on the World Wide Web, and I learned a lot.

First the definition of cheesecake is – “a sweet dish consisting primarily of a mixture of soft, fresh cheese (not always cream cheese), eggs, and sugar; often on a crust or base made from crushed cookies or graham crackers, pastry or sponge cake. [1] It is both baked or unbaked, usually sweetened with sugar and may be flavored or topped with fruit, whipped cream, nuts, fruit sauce and/or chocolate. Cheesecake is prepared in many flavors, such as strawberry, pumpkin, key lime, or toffee and is usually served as a dessert.”

Yep, sounds like cheesecake to me.

Then I discovered the earliest form of cheesecake was popular in ancient Greece and the Romans adopted it after they conquered Greece. (I knew those ancient Greeks were smart folks.) Then with the development of cream cheese in 1872, it was a short hop to the creation of modern day cheesecake.

What I also learned is that almost every country has its own variation of this yummy dessert. In America, we have many, many types of cheesecake, which is one of the reasons it is great to live in this country.

In England the most popular varieties are black cherry, blackcurrant, strawberry, passion fruit, raspberry and lemon curd. There is even a smoked salmon cheesecake made in Scotland. I’m saying no to that one.

In Germany, they use quark cheese, whatever that is, in their recipes. Bulgarians usually add nuts to the crust, and Italians add candied fruit. French cheesecakes are very light because they use Neufchatel cheese. Sweden, the Netherlands and Belgium, Poland and Greece all have their types of cheesecake.

Countries in South America, Asia and Australia enjoy their particular forms of cheesecake, some sweetened with honey, others not quite as sweet as what we eat in the good old USA. However it’s made, this sweet treat is universally loved.

So, that got me thinking maybe we should take National Cheesecake Day a little more seriously. In fact, it should be International Cheesecake Day, make it a worldwide event. I mean if for one day people of all races, all religious beliefs, (or non beliefs), political affiliations, sexual orientations etc. come together over a slice of cheesecake, can world peace be far behind.

So, if you missed it yesterday, failed to honor and acknowledge the universally loved cheesecake, it’s not too late. I hereby declare today is an extended celebration of National Cheesecake Day.

Don’t miss it again. Let not your chance slip by. Eat some cheesecake, now. Do it for yourself, do it for your country. Do it for world peace.