Joy and Gluttony

An open letter to cheesecake

June 12, 2014

Dear Cheesecake,

It’s amazing that I like you so much, considering how little chocolate you usually contain. You have at times made a valiant effort to include chocolate in your fantastical oeuvre, though, and for that I salute you.

But generally, we’ve been on a journey of discovery together, and the more I try, the more I like you. Lemon cheesecake, vanilla cheesecake, New York style cheescake, berry flavoured cheesecakes, cookies and cream cheesecakes, you name it, I’ve sampled it and given my approval face in its general direction. You have been my saviour during these troubled times, when most restaurants lack the creative nous to do anything more exciting than a fondant for chocolate based dessert, you are there to mop up my tears and prove that satisfaction can indeed be found sans cocoa.

Cheesecake Brownie Base

Truly, I’m sick of fondant. There’s a whole chocolately world out there, London restaurants. Explore it. You all have the same cookie cutter fondant selection and I’m beginning to suspect you’re all just buying them in from Mama’s Big Old Fondant Conglomerate and some fat cat is sitting around on a tax haven tropical island gloating over the Marie Antoinette shizz he’s managed to pull on us peasantry, making us eat his damn cake. Bah! I refuse to do it any longer.

Cheesecake, you have always been there. You have always had my back and when other desserts got me into trouble, you bailed me out. When an unscrupulous ex employer humiliated me in the lunch room once by yelling at me for eating chocolate cake, claiming I was unhealthy, had imminent fatness ahead of me, and demanded to know why New Zealand hadn’t taught me the 5 plus a day rule, how did I get him back? With blueberry cheesecake. Yup. See these purpley-blue splodges in my delicious creamy cake? That’s 5 plus a day, bitches.

Though I’ve already mentioned many great cheesecake flavours, I’ve also sampled many great cheesecake interpretations. Cheesecake with a brownie base. I love you. Cheesecake with a top layer of chocolate mousse. I love you. Cheesecake that’s been infiltrated with popular confectionery such as M&Ms or Mars bars. I love you. Cheesecake served in a glass. I love you, but we need to talk.

While I respect the attempt, and I accept that you are just as delicious as all your cheesecake-y friends, you must admit that a glass poses a kind of obvious problem. If you’re going for dessert in a glass you’re probably going for ease of individual servings and glorious presentation. So you’re probably not going to choose a basic tumbler, but rather an ornately shaped glass to magnificently craft your cheesecake’s winning look. If it’s not a straight up and down tumbler glass, it’s probably narrower at the base than it is at the top. So I get less biscuit base than creamy stuff and berry topping. Every part of the cheesecake is important. We must remember this. We can’t let them come for our base and say nothing, Cheesecake, we must fight them on this. Cheesecake Equality Now! That can be our slogan. We can make posters.


The beautiful thing about you is that you are different everywhere I go. Pubs, cafés, restaurants, bakeries, stores, all have multiple – and sometimes completely unique – cheesecakes on display and for sale. The world of cheesecake is not homogenous, bland or generic. It is thriving with style and innovation. Don’t let them pull a chocolate fondant on you, Cheesecake. I hope the corporate conglomerates never get their suffocating hands on you, and latch on to one particular style to be eaten in every restaurant. They are sure to mangle your infinite variety into a single, soulless incarnation. And that would be a great tragedy.

Cheesecake. I love you. Let’s be more than friends.




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