Saturday marks that annual day of solemn remembrance, National Cheesecake Day. And Long Island offers plenty of opportunities for observance. Virtually every bakery and supermarket sells cheesecakes, plain and fancy, and they’re among the most frequent finales to an Italian dinner.
Then there are the cheesecake specialists:
Cheesecake Factory is debuting a new creation on Friday, July 29: Chocolate hazelnut crunch, a chocolate-hazelnut filling topped with hazelnut crunch and Nutella. This in addition to more than 30 cheesecakes on the dessert menu. Slices for dine-in customers are priced around $8 but on Friday and Saturday, all slices are half price.
Cheesecake Factories are at Walt Whitman Shops, 160 Walt Whitman Rd., Huntington, 631-271-8200; Westfield South Shore, 1701 Sunrise Hwy., Bay Shore, 631-969-5780; Smith Haven Mall, 610 Smith Haven Mall, Lake Grove, 631-361-6600; The Mall at The Source, 1504 Old Country Rd., Westbury, 516-222-5500, cheesecakefactory.com.
Another cheesecake-centric venue is Mr. Bill’s, a Long Island original. The Lindenhurst store sells more than 50 varieties, including Harvey’s Bristol Cream, Snickers, cannoli cream and sugar-free Oreo, key lime and raspberry-chocolate swirl. Cheesecakes come in four sizes, 4-inch ($4.99), 6-inch ($12.99), 7-inch ($17.99) and 10-inch ($24.99). 773 N. Wellwood Ave., Lindenhurst, 631-957-8737, mrbillscheesecakes.com
In addition to pies, crumb cakes and cookies, Papa’s Country Porch in Ronkonkoma produces a whole slew of cheesecakes, including Chocolate Milano Swirl, Pumpkin Zebra, Amaretto Almond, Rice Pudding and red velvet. Most 7-inch cakes range between $15 and $18.50, 9-inch cakes between $22 and $33. 1611 Smithtown Ave., Ronkonkoma, 631-419-6580, papascountryporch.com
All of the aforementioned cheesecakes are made in the classic New York style, dense and creamy and based on cream cheese. Another local species of cheesecake is the Italian cheesecake, lighter and drier and made with ricotta. It can be less sweet too, but often comes studded with candied citron for good measure. You can find Italian cheesecake at most Italian pastry shops, including Alpine Pastry Shop in Smithtown, whose torta di ricotta (with candied citron) is $17.95 for 7-inch cake. 59 Route 111, Smithtown, 631-265-5610, alpinepastryshoppe.com.
Help is here for the special-needs cheesecake consumer. At Allie’s GF Goodies in Hicksville, they contain neither gluten nor dairy. Flavors include chocolate-mint, key lime and lemon-blueberry and prices are $18 for a 6-inch cake, $33 for a 9-inch cake. Also on the menu, fudgy-crispy brownies studded not with nuts but with chunks of cheesecake. 1B W. Village Green, Hicksville; 516-216-1719, alliesgfg.com.
Cheesecake has become so popular, it’s made the leap from dessert to dessert flavor. Get a doughnut drizzled with cheesecake filling at Doughology, 45 Atlantic Ave., Lynbrook, 516-341-0882. Or a cup of mango-cheesecake gelato at ViAle Gelateria, 424 Sunrise Hwy., Lynbrook, 516-442-0094.