Cheesecake, Olympic Cheesecake

With National Cheesecake Day falling on July 30th, it’s time we take a moment to celebrate this most glorious of desserts. And funny – as many of us are steeped in watching the Olympics – that cheesecakes were on the menu for athletes at the first Olympic Games in Greece.

Olympians were encouraged to reap energy from this conveniently and palatably presented cheese – not yet in the cream cheese format we beat in now. What did this early Greek cheesecake look like?

We can get a hint from the centuries later recipe of Athenaeus of Naucratis, a Greek rhetorician and grammarian. ‘Take cheese and pound it till smooth and pasty; put cheese in a brazen sieve; add honey and spring wheat flour. Heat in one mass, cool, and serve.’

That’s a far cry from the graham cracker crusted wonder we love today, but more delicious perhaps than isotonic gels and electrolyte drinks.

Cheesecake has already received its first shoutout in Tokyo 2020. After winning gold in weightlifting – the first ever gold medal for the Philippines – a tearful Hidilyn Diaz told Yahoo Sports she was going to “eat a lot tonight. I mean, I’ve been sacrificing my food, and this is the time to celebrate together with the people who are behind me. So I’m really thankful I can eat now, yes.”

First snacks on her celebration tour? Cheesecake and bubble tea.


Here’s Canadian chef Anna Olson with her recipe for cheesecake.



Header: Monika Grabkowska



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Elizabeth Newton

Elizabeth Newton