Behind the Column: Cheesecake Factory

Today, launched SeriousEats: Sweets. Congratulations! To christen the new blog, yours truly went to the Cheesecake Factory and sampled all 33 of their cheesecakes. It is a truly epic piece, so I wrote it with a Dantean style, after my favorite epic poet. (At least, I did until I actually started writing about cheesecake. Dante didn’t do cheesecake.) I hope you enjoy it, and you can read it here.

I also have to say thank you to Maggie Hoffman, Carey Jones, and Christine Tsai, all of SeriousEats. Maggie is my Drinks and Sweets editor, and was with me on the trip. Christine, the site’s main developer, is one of the best photographers on staff, and she is responsible for all the awesome photos. Carey Jones is my main editor, and is responsible for a) making sure I get my columns in on time and b) making sure everything is spelled correctly.

I’ve been talking about this post with friends, and the reaction has been “How did you do that?” or “Did you eat anything else all day?” or “How long did it take you?” So, I thought I’d answer some of the questions as part of my series, Beyond the Column.

How long did it take you?

About three hours. It wasn’t just tasting, there was also note-taking, photographing, and reviewing the descriptions of each cake. At a certain point, around number 18, we definitely sat back for 15 minute and caught our breath. That was a tough point, but we all pushed through and found a second wind. Some of our favorite cheesecakes, like the Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake, came near the end.

Did you eat all 33 pieces of Cheesecake?  That sounds gross…

I didn’t eat all 33 whole pieces. I had two other people with me, Maggie and Christine, who sampled each one as I did. Some bites are larger than others, and mine are pretty large. I took about 2 bites of each one. I estimated that there were approximately 15 my-size bites in each each piece of cheesecake, so that would mean I had about 4 full-size pieces.

Did you eat anything else all day?

Yes! I started following a strict low-carb diet that week, and I had to break it for this tasting. I had eggs in the morning, and pea soup for lunch. The cheesecake tasting was in the afternoon, and then I had chicken breasts for dinner.

Was it gross?

No. I actually kind of enjoyed it.

How much did it cost?

Full disclosure: Nothing. It was free. Carey Jones, my editor and the editor of SeriousEats: NY, and came up with the idea of trying all of the cheesecakes at the Cheesecake Factory. She contacted their Public Relations office, who arranged for us to try all of the cheesecakes. I am very grateful to the Cheesecake Factory for facilitating our idea.

Are you done with cheesecake for the rest of your life?

No. Actually, the day after, I was craving their cheesecake. It’s quite good, and I quite liked it. Sadly, there aren’t any in New York City, and I’ve been trying to stay away from sweets as a part of my diet.

I hope you enjoyed the article!