FANWOOD, NJ – July 30 is National Cheesecake Day.

Cheesecake has been around since the times of the Greeks and the Romans. The modern cheesecake owes much to one of America’s most famous brands; James Kraft is credited with pasteurizing cream cheese in 1912. He later acquired a trademark and marketed his product as Philadelphia Cream Cheese, which is now commonly used in cheesecake recipes. 

Cheesecakes are often topped with fruits, such as raspberries and blueberries. They are also frequently prepared in flavors, such as strawberry, pumpkin, key lime, and chocolate.

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While most cheesecakes in the U.S. are made with cream cheese, in other countries, different types of cheese are used.  Ricotta cheese is often the choice in Italy, for instance. New York-style cheesecake recipes incorporate heavy cream or sour cream that give them their distinctive tastes.

To celebrate locally, Mara’s Café & Bakery, recognized as one of the top cheesecakes in New Jersey, is offering free 7-inch cheesecakes to the 50th, 100th, 150th, and 200th customers today.  Flavors include Original Country Cheesecake, Almond Brownie Cheesecake, Wildberry Cheesecake, and Carmel Apple Cheesecake.