Dionysia: The Invention of Cheesecake.


Invention of Cheesecake

Cheesecake was invented in ancient Greece and was thought to have particularly healthy properties making it good for athletes, and was served to competitors in the first Olympic games. Baklava was not invented yet, so this proto-baklava called honey cakes that are more like crackers compliment this cheese course – I preferred the cheesecakes. Plated in rings for the Olympians.



  • 2 cups fresh, whole-milk ricotta
  • 2/3 cup honey, I used wildflower honey
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  • Whisk together
  • Spoon into olive-oiled cupcake tin
    • The ancient recipes say it’s baked in a “mold.” This seems like a reasonable approximation.
  • Bake at 250 for 25 minutes
  • Use an off-set spatula to get them out



  • 1 cup barley flour
  • 3 TB honey, I used Ballard’s honey
  • 2 TB olive oil, I used Greek olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water


  • Combine ingredients other than water, whisking together
  • Slowly add water until it becomes a just-crumbly dough
  • Pinch off portions and flatten them in your palms
    • Because I would assume that they didn’t have cookie cutters in 500 BC, but who knows
  • Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes or until just browning on the edges


Each person should be served 3 honey cookies and 2 cheesecakes, alternating to form Olympic rings.


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