A slice of joy, cream and sweet tangy excitement

You say, I say, we all say cheesecake! Say hello to this lavish dessert that I discovered after twenty years. Yes, two decades of my existence lived without this delicious flavor. Let me add that my ignorance has nothing to do with living in Dubai. My ex-consciousness for healthy food denied my tongue the guilty pleasure of cheese in all its forms except for the occasional pizza treats. Yes, I’ve lived without having cheese in my burger, separated it from the pink sauce pasta, removed it from sandwiches, cheese croissants, you name it and I’ve abandoned it.

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Raspberry cheesecake from Columbiano cafe, Abu Dhabi

  My relationship with cheese goes back far to a young memory of a very…..obese child munching on a burger with cheese all over his mouth, his fingers and dropping from the sides of his exponentially-impossible-for-me-to-even-bite-that-big-a-burger. So what happened after two decades that convinced me to experiment with my new found love? First, the initial resolution that I had to quit looking like a stick and work on acquiring some muscular fat, and latter, my savior in beef, the Shake-shack burger. The New York joint that recently opened doors in Dubai and has often been described by my friends as food-gasmic, has been the best beef burger I’ve had, and yes with cheese. The burger got me started, and it only took a few days for this vital ingredient in pasta to take it’s toll on me. Let’s just say, I no longer appear to be a stick 😉

Now coming back to my affair with the cheesecake, it started on a sunny afternoon, when I arrived at my favorite coffee shop to grab my favorite tiramisu and finish up some important work. But the universe had a different plan, my sacred tiramisu was out of stock, and I had to choose between the obtuse-yet-large carrot cake, the all-too-cliched three layer chocolate cake (how different can a there layer chocolate cake be when ALL layers are of chocolate!) and the Strawberry cheesecake. Now I didn’t want to spoil the memory of my mother’s handmade carrot cake, so I really had only two options. And I didn’t want to invest 15 AED in a dessert that would only taste like all the others I’ve tried before, so I went for the cheesecake (call me frugal, but I do spend a lot of time weighing my options against cost and value).

That, dear readers, is the story of how I discovered this remarkable feast of joy, cream, and sweet tangy excitement, all boxed up in a slice. One small triangle of happiness. Sigh….makes me want to have some more. And what about you, do you love cheesecake too? What’s your favorite flavor? Why don’t you share your love for this universal dessert in the tiny box below *points to comments*

Ayesha Akbar Ali

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