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Ambiguous Pie

I am delighted to see that so many of you have weighed in on what is clearly such an important topic: the subject of the pie-ishness (or lack thereof) of cheesecake. I'm not sure I've ever had so many people vote in a poll of mine before!

The consensus (c. 56%) was clearly that cheesecake is neither pie nor cake. Is it pudding? Is it a tart? Is it a flan? Is its own special confection? sandy_williams suggests that present vocabulary is inadequate, and a new term should be coined to account for cheesecake's idiosyncrasies; as a fan of intrepid neologisms, I'm certainly interested in considering options. I'm also relieved to be assured by rjw1 that stew is not pie; that certainly simplifies my article revisions.

I'm also fascinated as to how the discussion revolved around what pie is; which, to be fair, was appropriate to the topic, but left entirely open what this "cake" substance might be, and to what degree it overlaps with "pie".

The importance of the subject of cheesecake can be witnessed by your collective discussion of it inspiring me to write poetry.

On Cheesecake

Oh, changeling child of baking art,
whose form, recumbent, may prove tart,
if not a pudding, or a pie,
for crumbs, not flakes, beneath it lie.

Perhaps it is a well-done cake,
for duress on the hearth, a bake
of mascarpone, or cream cheese,
to inundate its crumbly lees.

What molten dairy, in abyss
of furnaced baking, made it this?
What crumbled cracker, milled and shred,
proved for it some cold-set bed?

So versatile this recipe,
about which most will disagree,
no single genre, type, or case,
encompassed all your terms embrace.

Perhaps a pie, perhaps a cake,
I'd not on one or t'other stake
my certitude, and so, apart,
the changeling child of baking art.

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Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
easterbunny
Apr. 16th, 2010 10:44 am (UTC)
Bravo! I'm drinking a cup of tea for the first time in months, and the first two lines caused some spray. May I quote you?

Edited at 2010-04-16 02:44 pm (UTC)
owlfish
Apr. 16th, 2010 10:48 am (UTC)
Thank you and certainly!

*corrects a typo in the second line*

Edited at 2010-04-16 02:50 pm (UTC)
m31andy
Apr. 16th, 2010 11:04 am (UTC)
I missed the great cheesecake debate, but I do love the poem!
owlfish
Apr. 17th, 2010 09:34 am (UTC)
Thank you!
la_marquise_de_
Apr. 16th, 2010 01:49 pm (UTC)
Yay! Love it.
owlfish
Apr. 17th, 2010 09:34 am (UTC)
Thank you!
matrygg
Apr. 16th, 2010 03:14 pm (UTC)
I vote that cheesecake cannot be adequately defined. It is just simply a culinary absolute, a multiversal constant, and as such defies our petty attempts at classification.
daisho
Apr. 16th, 2010 03:23 pm (UTC)
Sweet.

;)
oursin
Apr. 16th, 2010 04:03 pm (UTC)
I have come across recipes for curd tarts and pies that seem to me to be aspiring to the condition of cheesecake.

But on the whole, I consider cheesecake to be a per se and not a subset of something else.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )