Over the weekend, I blasted Future’s Dirty Sprite 2 mixtape while I washed dishes because a) music should typically be blasted; it’s its natural state of being, and b) it’s a great album. I was also in the presence of a family member who is a young person. He proceeded to tell me, as Future rapped about his Gucci flip flops, about an interview with the rapper that made the rounds last year, in which he talks about his love for “sensational” cheesecake.
And Future’s right: cheesecake is sensational. It falls under the same category as ice cream and pizza and heck, even smoked sable: you should never trust a person who doesn’t like it (save for those who cannot eat it for health-related reasons, of course).
On Shavuot, which marks the day the Jews received the Torah, we celebrate by eating dairy-related products, such as blintzes, which are also fantastic resources to ensure a taste bud party.
The rational explanation for this particular culinary choice is that the Torah was given on the Sabbath, and as no animals could be slaughtered to celebrate the happy occasion, the Israelites likely shrugged their shoulders and collectively agreed to nosh on some brie. More mystical Jews—you know, Madonna—believe that the numbers speak for themselves: Dairy in Hebrew is chalav, and if you sum up the numerical value of the three Hebrew letters that make up that word you get 40. Which is a number you’d remember if you had to wander in the desert for as many years.
And if you are going to eat cheesecake, you might as well make it, because what’s homemade is usually better. So try out this recipe for light and creamy cheesecake, or lemony cheesecake, or Israeli cheesecake, or this dulce de leche cheesecake. And if you make, can you let me know, please? I’m in for a slice. While you’re at it, save a slice for Future, too.
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Jonathan Zalman is a writer and teacher based in Brooklyn.