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Brooklyn-Style Cheesecake Recipe For National Cheesecake Day

July 30th is National Cheesecake Day. It may be our favorite food holiday of the year—not just because we love cheesecake, but because we allow ourselves to have it so rarely.

This recipe that follows is from King Arthur Flour. Check below for many more cheesecake recipes, both savory and sweet. In fact, there are more than enough to make a different cheesecake every week of the year (a cheesecake version of Julie and Julia?).

New York-Style Cheesecake is a dense cream-cheese cheesecake, usually made with two pounds of cream cheese on a graham cracker crust. But what’s a Brooklyn-Style Cheesecake?

According to King Arthur Flour, the Brooklyn style has a vanilla cake crust, a concept that was pioneered by Junior’s Restaurant in Brooklyn, New York.

If you fancy something different, the 45* cheesecake recipes below have something for everyone.

Cheesecake freezes beautifully, by the way, and it can even be enjoyed frozen (think Cheesecake Pops).

> The history of cheesecake.

> The history of cheesecake.

Thanks to King Arthur Baking for the recipe. Prep time is 25 minutes to 35 minutes. Bake time is 1 hour 25 minutes to 1 hour 35 minutes.

Ingredients For One 9″ Cheesecake (About 16 Servings)

For The Crust

  • 1/2 cup King Arthur Unbleached Cake Flour Blend*
  • 6 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

    *Why use cake flour? It has less protein, which makes a finer, lighter, more airy crumb. The more protein, the chewier the texture. Bread flour is 14% to 16% protein, all-purpose flour is 10% to 12% protein, pastry flour is 9% protein and cake flour is 7%-8% protein. If you don’t have cake flour, use unbleached all-purpose flour, reducing the amount to 7 tablespoons (1/2 cup less 1 tablespoon).
    For The Filling

  • 2 pounds cream cheese (four 8-ounce packages), room temperature
  • 1-2/3 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9″ round springform pan. This cake is very tall, and requires an extra-deep pan, at least 2 3/4″ deep. Wrap the bottom and sides of the pan with aluminum foil, preferably a single sheet.

    2. MAKE the crust: Place the flour, 2 tablespoons of the sugar, the baking powder, salt, butter and 3 egg yolks into a large mixing bowl. Beat until well combined; the mixture will be stiff and somewhat crumbly.

    3. BEAT the egg whites with the cream of tartar in a separate bowl, until they’re frothy. Add the remaining 4 tablespoons of sugar gradually, beating continuously, until the mixture is stiff and glossy.

    4. MIX the beaten egg whites into the batter, 1/3 at a time. Take care to keep the batter light; mix gently, don’t beat. You may find at the end there are still some tiny lumps in the batter; that’s O.K. Stir in the vanilla.

    5. SPOON the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for about 15 minutes, until the cake has risen, is barely beginning to brown, and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven, and immediately loosen the edges with a table knife or thin spatula. Allow it to cool in the pan while you make the filling. It’ll settle and shrink a bit as it cools; that’s OK. Leave the oven on.

    6. MAKE the filling: Place 8 ounces (1 package) of cream cheese, 1/3 cup of sugar, and the cornstarch in a mixing bowl. Mix on low speed until smooth. Add the remaining cream cheese, 8 ounces at a time, beating on low speed until smooth. Slowly beat in the remaining 1-1/3 cups sugar and the vanilla.

    7. ADD the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the cream, beating just until blended. Spoon the batter over the cake in the pan. The filling will expand and rise, so make sure you don’t fill the pan to the brim.

    8. PLACE the springform pan into a larger pan, and fill the larger pan with enough hot water to come 1″ up the sides of the springform pan (this is called a bain-marie). Place both pans on a lower-middle rack of your oven.

    9. BAKE the cheesecake for 75 to 90 minutes, until the cake is just barely beginning to turn golden around the edges and the top appears set. The center will still look jiggly; that’s O.K. A thermometer inserted into the center should register 160°F to 165°F.

    10. REMOVE the cake from the oven, and gently lift it out of the water bath onto a cooling rack. Allow it to cool at room temperature, undisturbed, for 2 to 3 hours, until it’s no longer warm to the touch. Refrigerate the cake, covered, until you’re ready to serve it.

    11. TO SERVE: Slice with a knife dipped in hot water and wiped dry. Repeat this step after every slice. This cake is traditionally served without topping; but feel free to add your own favorite, if desired.

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  • Maple Cheesecake
  • Michael Chiarello’s Mascarpone Cheesecake
  • Milk Chocolate Cheesecake
  • Mini Cheesecakes With Red Grapefruit
  • Mini Eggnog Gingerbread Cheesecakes
  • Mocha Pumpkin Cheesecake
  • No-Bake Blueberry Cheesecake
  • No-Bake Cappuccino Cheesecake
  • No-Bake Cheesecake In A Jar
  • No-Bake Cheesecake With Fresh Fruit Topping
  • No-Bake Frozen Pineapple Cheesecake
  • No Bake White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake With Almond Crust (gluten-free)
  • Peaches & Cream Cheesecake
  • Piña Colada Cheesecake With Gluten-Free Crust
  • Piña Colada Cheesecake With Rum
  • Pumpkin Mousse Cheesecake With Gingersnap Crust
  • Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake
  • Red Velvet Cheesecake
  • Shamrock Cheesecake

  • Cheesecake Ice Cream
  • Cheesecake Pops
  • Cheesecake Waffles
  • Chocolate Cheesecake Stout Pops
  • Green Mint Cheesecake Bars
  • Raspberry Cheesecake Float
  • Red, White & Blue Cheesecake
  • Regular Or Sugar Free Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies

  • Savory Cheesecake Appetizer Recipes
  • Gruyere & Lobster Cheesecake Appetizer
  • Savory Nacho Cheesecake

    Brooklyn Style Cheesecake Recipe
    [1] No food makes us happier than a slice of cheesecake. Or is that, two slices (photos #1 and #2 © King Arthur Baking).

    Brooklyn Style Cheesecake Recipe
    [2] Extra slices freeze beautifully.

    [3] Who could say no to chocolate chip cheesecake (photo © Kelly Cline | iStock Photo).

    Cheesecake With Berry Garnish
    [4] A simple, elegant garnish (photo © Wilton | Facebook).

    Savory Goat Cheese Cheesecake With Basil
    [5] Savory cheesecake can be served as a first course, or with a salad course. Here, a goat cheese and basil cheesecake. Check out these savory cheesecake recipes (photo © Love & Olive Oil).

    Sour Cream Top Cheesecake Recipe

    [6] A sour cream top is one of our favorites (photo © Kraft Food Services).

    Birthday Cheesecake With Sprinkles
    [7] Birthday cheesecake (photo © Carnegie Deli | Facebook).

    Chocolate Truffle Cheesecake Recipe
    [8] A super-special cheesecake: chocolate truffles and jam top a plain cheesecake. Here’s the recipe (photo © DeLallo).

    Cherry Cheesecake Wiah A Chocolate Glaze
    [9] This cherry cheesecake puts the cherries in the center and a chocolate glaze on top. In effect, it’s a Black Forest cheesecake. Here’s the recipe (photo © Betty Crocker).





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    Greek Chicken Wings & More Wing Recipes For National Chicken Wing Day

    July 29th is National Chicken Wing Day. America loves its chicken wings, but there is a debate over what types are best: bone-in vs. boneless and drumettes vs. the wingettes/flats*.

    RTA Outdoor Livingfull survey).

    The highlights for National Chicken Wing Day:

  • Boneless wings are more popular than bone-in wings, with 63.4% of respondents choosing boneless.
  • Drumettes are the winner, with 2 in 3 respondents preferring them.
    Now how about some chicken wings? Here’s something a bit different from Smithfield Culinary: Greek-style wings (photo #1).

    This recipe is easier than it looks because you purchase pre-smoked, pre-cooked chicken wings (photos #2 and #3, for example).

    You could also purchase the tzatziki, but the homemade version below is far superior.

    Just note that you have to drain the yogurt for the tzatziki sauce overnight. Opa*!

    > Check out 14 more chicken wing recipes below.

    > The history of chicken.

    Ingredients For 4-6 Servings
    For The Greek Dry Rub Spice Mix

  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon dill
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons granulated garlic
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
    For The Tzatziki Sauce

  • 2 cups Greek yogurt (strained overnight)
  • 4 garlic cloves, grated or puréed
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • ¼ cup fresh dill
  • 2 lemons, zested and juiced
  • 1 grated English cucumber
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional heat: chopped jalapeño
    For The Chicken Wings

  • 2 dozen smoked chicken wings
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 lemons, zested and juiced
  • 1 tablespoon puréed or grated garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons Greek dry rub spice mix
    For The Garnish

  • Dill, snipped
  • Mint leaves, torn or snipped
  • Feta cheese, crumbled
  • Lemon wedges
  • Cucumber wheels

    1. MAKE the spice mix. Stir all of the ingredients in a bowl until thoroughly incorporated. Set aside.

    2. MAKE the tzatziki sauce, mix all ingredients thoroughly until incorporated. Set aside (or make in advance and chill in the fridge).

    3. MAKE the wings. If frozen, thaw completely. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

    4. COAT the wings in the mix of olive oil, lemon juice, zest, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then coat with the Greek dry spice rub.

    5. PLACE the wings in a baking dish and heat in the oven until they are golden brown and heated through (see package instructions). Meanwhile:

    6. REMOVE the wings from the oven briefly and lightly toss them with 1 cup of tzatziki sauce. Return to the oven and bake until edges become slightly charred.

    7. TO SERVE: Top with the herbs and feta. Serve with the remaining tzatziki on the side.


  • Buffalo Brussels Sprouts
  • Buffalo Chicken Grilled Cheese Sandwich
  • Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
  • Buffalo Chicken Nuggets
  • Buffalo Chicken Steamed Dumplings
  • Buffalo Wing Pizza
  • Cauliflower Buffalo Wings
  • Classic Buffalo Wings Recipe
  • Cocoa-Habanero Wings: A Mexican Touch
  • Deconstructed Buffalo Wings
  • Ginger-Orange Asian Chicken Wings
  • Honey Sriracha Wings
  • Low-Calorie Buffalo Chicken Parfait

    *Drumettes are the portion of the wing that’s attached to the main part of the chicken. It’s shaped like the larger chicken drumstick, hence the name. There’s one main piece of bone in the middle, but there are some joints and cartilage on both ends. The wingette or flat is the middle part of the wing. The shape is flat with two thin bones that run parallel to each other down the length of the flat. It has tender dark meat and is completely covered with skin. Here’s a larger discussion of these.

    †In Greek culture, this is the expression that sometimes accompanied the traditional act of plate smashing. However, it’s also used to express enthusiasm in general: No dishware need be sacrificed. Here’s more on the Greek custom of smashing plates.


    Greek Chicken Wings Recipe
    [1] Smokin’ Greek chicken wings—the wings are purchased already smoked. The recipe is below (photo © Smithfield Culinary).

    Package Of Wegmans Smoked Chicken Wings
    [2] Wegman’s smoked chicken wings are ready to heat and eat (photo © Instacart).

    Package Of Walmart Pecan Smoked Chicken Wings
    [3] Walmart and other stores also sell cooked chicken wings. Here, Walmart’s pecan-smoked chicken wings (photo © Walmart).

    Tzatziki Yogurt Cucumber Sauce Tzatziki[/caption]
    [4] Tzatziki, a refreshing cucumber-yogurt dip and sauce (photo © Cava Grill).

    Pot Of Fresh Dill
    [5] Fresh dill (photo Wuestenigel | CC-BY-2.0 License).

    Bunch Of Fresh Spearmint
    [6] Fresh mint (photo © Good Eggs).

    Sheep's Milk Feta Cheese
    [7] Beautiful Essex sheep’s milk feta cheese from De Laurenti, from sheep that graze on the Isle of Lesbos (photo © DeLaurenti).





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    Lasagna Recipes Including Gluten-Free For National Lasagna Day

    [1] This Indian-accented lasagna is gluten-free. The recipe is below (photo © Urban Accents).

    Eggplant Parmigiana Lasagna Recipe
    [2] Eggplant Parmigiana Lasagna combines two favorites. Here’s the recipe (photo © DeLallo).

    Lasagna Soup Recipe
    [3] Something different: lasagna soup! Here’s the recipe (photo © Wisconsin Dairy).

    Ravioli Lasagna Recipe
    [4] Ravioli lasagna. Here’s the recipe (photo © Oxmoor House [permanently closed]).

    Dutch Oven Pumpkin Lasagna Recipe
    [5] Who needs a lasagna pan? This recipe is made in a Dutch Oven (photo © Williams Sonoma).


    A hot summer day doesn’t seem like prime time for lasagna, but July 29th is, in fact, National Lasagna Day, and the next celebration isn’t until October, National Pasta Month.

    The dish dates back to Roman times, although Roman lasagna was not the classic style we know today, with layered noodles, cheese, and tomato sauce.

    That’s because the Romans did not have tomatoes, which originated in Peru (as cherry tomatoes) and were brought to Europe by the Spanish Conquistadors in the 16th century. They were enjoyed as houseplants until the 18th century!

    > The history of lasagna.

    Our featured recipe today is an Indian-style lasagna that’s gluten-free and noodle-free, giving this popular comfort food gets a new twist.

    We have 17 more lasagna recipes for you below, including more gluten-free options.

    Lasagna is an Italian dish made from noodles, but the recipe has been reinvented many times over with gluten-free options. This recipe uses thin layers of mashed potatoes instead of noodles.

    To accent the Indian style, the recipe switches out the Italian bolognese sauce—ground beef and oregano for a spicy ground lamb sauce.

    The recipe, from Urban Accents, uses their Punjab Red Tandoori Spice Blend.

    This medium-heat Indian seasoning blend combines paprika, turmeric, ginger, and some 16 other spices and herbs. It adds “just the right amount of Indian-style heat” to chicken, lamb, marinades, rice, seafood, turkey, and vegetable dishes.

    Prep time is 20 minutes, cook time is 90 minutes, total time 110 minutes.
    Ingredients For 10 Servings

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 2 pounds ground lamb (substitute with ground beef or turkey)
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly grated
  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • 3 cans (14.5 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 3-1/2 teaspoons Urban Accents Punjab Red Tandoori Spice Blend or substitute*
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1-1/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled & thinly sliced
  • 1/2 pound ricotta salata cheese

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 375°F. Lightly oil a 9″ x 13″ baking dish.

    2. MAKE the filling. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over med-high heat and sauté the onion until translucent.

    3. ADD the lamb, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Cook until the lamb is browned and cooked through. Stir in the parsley and set aside to cool.

    4. MAKE the sauce. In a medium saucepan, over low heat, combine the tomato sauce and Punjab Red Tandoori spice. Simmer for 5 minutes. Take off the heat and add 1-1/2 teaspoons of salt, the lemon juice, and lemon zest.

    5. ASSEMBLE. Spread a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of the baking dish. Place a layer of potatoes on top of the sauce, using half of the potatoes. Spread half of the meat mixture; then half of the remaining sauce.

    6. REPEAT, layering the potatoes, meat mixture, and sauce. Spread the cheese on top; cover and bake for 50 to 60 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes to brown the top. Allow to rest  

  • Asparagus & Pesto Lasagna
  • Butternut Squash & Pumpkin Lasagna
  • Dessert Lasagna
  • Dutch Oven Pumpkin Lasagna
  • Eggplant Parm Lasagna
  • Lasagna Hack: A Pasta Bake With Chicken Parm
  • Lasagna Soup
  • Mexican Chicken Lasagna
  • Pasta Al Forno: Lasagna Made With Ziti
  • Polenta & Pesto Lasagna, Gluten Free
  • Pumpkin Lasagna With Ricotta & Swiss Chard
  • Pumpkin & Mushroom Lasagna
  • Ravioli Lasagna
  • Ravioli Lasagna With Pumpkin Sauce
  • Rice Pesto Lasagna, Gluten Free
  • Scamorza Cheese & Porcini Lasagna
  • Spinach Lasagna

    *There are many different Indian spice blends. You can substitute curry powder or garam masala, both of which are composed of numerous spices. You can look for recipes online, or simply pull ground spices from your pantry: black pepper or cayenne, coriander, cumin, dry mustard, fenugreek, garam masala, garlic, ginger, mint, paprika, salt, tumeric, etc. Now you see how the Urban Accents Punjab Red Tandoori Spice is a blend of 19 different spices!





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    Scattered California Roll, California Roll Chirashi Sushi

    This Scattered California Roll comes under the category of “Why didn’t we think of this?” But we’re thankful that Grace Parisi came up with the idea (more about Grace below).

    This recipe is in the chirashi sushi category. The name means “scattered sushi” in Japanese, and it’s the easiest sushi to make because, rather than rolling everything nice and tidy in a sheet of seaweed (it takes both practice and seaweed), the ingredients are scattered atop a bowl of rice.

    Grace combined the idea with grain bowls, and you can substitute your grain of choice for the rice.

    Wine pairing: The flavors of toasted sesame seeds, seasoned sushi rice, and sweet crab pair well with a crisp, aromatic Austrian Riesling.

    > Check out the different types of sushi and sashimi in our Sushi Glossary.

    > The history of sushi

    This recipe is made with fresh Dungeness crabmeat, but if you can’t get it, substitute one whole bairdi crab cluster (1 body, 4 legs, 1 claw), a type of snow crab.

    Other options: canned lump crabmeat or crab stick (the different types of crabmeat).

    Prep time is 30 minutes.
    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • ¼ cup unseasoned rice vinegar, divided
  • 1½ teaspoons sugar
  • Kosher salt
  • 1½ cups Japanese or sushi rice, rinsed and drained (or substitute)
  • 2 Dungeness crab clusters (2 bodies, 8 legs, 2 claws), thawed
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped pickled ginger†
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons wasabi paste, depending on heat preference
  • 4 radishes, cut into fine matchsticks
  • 2 scallions, cut into 1-inch matchsticks
  • 2 Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • 1 ripe avocado, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 8-by-7½-inch sheet of nori (Japanese seaweed), finely shredded

    1. MAKE the rice. In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of the rice vinegar with the sugar and ½ teaspoon salt, stirring until dissolved. Set aside.

    2. COMBINE the rice with 2 cups of water in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil over high heat, Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Let the pot sit off the heat, covered, for 10 minutes.

    3. SPREAD the rice in a large shallow bowl or on a baking sheet and toss with the reserved sweetened vinegar. Refrigerate briefly until cool. Meanwhile…

    4. STEAM the crab. Fill a large skillet with 1 inch of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the crab, cover, and steam for 2 to 3 minutes, until just heated through. Remove the meat and break it into 1-inch pieces. You can save shells for stock (stick them in the freezer for future use).

    5. PREPARE the dressing. In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar with the soy sauce, oil, ginger, and wasabi paste. Season with salt.

    6. ASSEMBLE AND SERVE. Add the radishes, scallions, and cucumbers to the rice, pour the dressing over them, and toss gently to combine. Fold in the crab and spoon the mixture into bowls. Garnish with the avocado, sesame seeds, and shredded nori just before serving.

    You can wrap any leftover crab, rice, and avocado in green leaf or butter lettuce leaves for a light lunch or snack.

    Japanese rice, the rice served at every Japanese meal, is a cultivar of Japonica (a.k.a. sinica) rice. It is one of the two major domestic types of Asian rice varieties*.

    The plump, short grains have a characteristic sticky, firm texture and are slightly sweet. When cooked, they are sticky enough to easily be picked up with chopsticks. (Here’s more about Japanese rice.)

    Sushi rice is made by seasoning this Japanese short-grain rice with a mixture of rice vinegar (a mild form of vinegar), sugar, salt, and often kombu (kelp). These seasonings impart a balance of sweet, salty, and sour taste flavors that pairs so well with the raw fish.

    The term sushi means vinegared rice: su = vinegar, shi = rice.

    Sitka Salmon Shares’ Culinary Director Grace Parisi is a cook, writer and cookbook author. Formerly the Senior Test Kitchen Editor at Food & Wine Magazine and Executive Food Director at TimeInc Books, her work has appeared in Cooking Light, Health, O Magazine, Epicurious, Fitness, Today, Serious Eats, Martha Stewart, and many more. She’s the author of more than 6 books, among them The Portlandia Cookbook and Get Saucy, which was nominated for a James Beard award for Best Single Subject Cookbook.


    Chirashi Sushi California Roll Bowl Recipe
    [1] California roll ingredients turned into chirashi sushi (photo © Sitka Salmon Shares).

    Whole Dungeness Crab On Ice
    [2] Dungeness crab (photo © Good Eggs).

    Bottle Of Nakano Rice Vinegar
    [3] Rice vinegar is available seasoned and unseaoned. For this recipe, you need unseasoned. (photo © Nakano Rice Vinegar).

    A Bowl Of Japanese Rice With Chopsticks
    [4] A bowl of Japanese rice (photo © Mgg Vitchakorn | Unsplash).

    California Roll Uramaki (Reverse Roll)
    [6] A classic California Roll uramaki, or reverse roll, with the rice on the outside (photo © Umami Information Center).


    *Japonica rice is extensively cultivated and consumed in East Asia, whereas in most other regions of Asia, indica rice is the dominant type of rice. Here’s the difference between the two.

    In California, rice production is dominated by short and medium-grain japonica varieties, including cultivars developed for the local climate, such as Calrose.

    A cultivar is a type of plant that people have bred for desired traits (selective breeding). Many cultivars of rice are grown worldwide. The two major subspecies (indica and japonica) have more than 40,000 varieties. Here’s a small list of them.

    Pickled ginger recipe: If you can’t find pickled ginger in the Asian products aisle of your supermarket or a local Asian grocer, make your own. Use 1 teaspoon each grated fresh ginger, rice vinegar, and sugar. Allow the flavors to meld for an hour or more.




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    Shiraz Vs. Syrah: The Difference For National Shiraz Day

    Shiraz Wine Bottle & Glass Of Wine
    [1] Shiraz wines have a deep red color. Learn more about Australian Shiraz, the first “modern” Shiraz (photo © Best Wines)

    A Glass Of Red Wine With Filet Mignon
    [2] Shiraz is a happy pairig with any kind of beef or lamb (phot © LT Bar & Grill).

    Shiraz Bottle & Glass
    [3 Penfolds Bin 28 from Australia, one of the world’s great Shiraz wines. Here’s more about it (photo © Dmarge).

    Glasses Of Shiraz Red Wine With Pasta
    [4] Shiraz stands up to garlic, spice, and robust flavors—including pepperoni pizza (photo © Brooke Lark | Unsplash).

    A Glass of Red Wine with a Washed Rind Cheese
    [5] Shiraz likes hearty cheeses: Cheddar, blue cheese, aged cheeses like Parmigiano-Reggiano, and strong cheeses washed rind cheeses (photo © Louis Hansel | Unsplash).

    Syrah Grapes On The Grapevine
    [6] Shiraz grapes (photo © Max Delsid | Unsplash).

    Rack Of Lamb With Pesto & Red Wine
    [7] Yes, please: rack of lamb and a bottle of Shiraz (photo © DeLallo).

    Red Wine With A Roast Chicken
    [8] Roasting a chicken? Open a bottle of Shiraz (photo © Corto Olive | Facebook).


    National Shiraz Day is the 4th Thursday of June. It celebrates a wine that is also known as Syrah. The better-known Syrah has its own holiday, International Syrah Day, on February 16th. So what’s the difference of Shiraz vs. Syrah?

    Food holidays are an opportunity for THE NIBBLE to discuss a particular food or wine. This article will explain:

  • Why Syrah is called Shiraz.
  • Ideal Shiraz food pairings.
  • The history of Shiraz.

    Shiraz/Syrah is a dark-skinned red wine grape variety that is grown around the world.

    The modern Shiraz grape is identical to Syrah, which originated in southeast France.

    Modern Shiraz has no established connection to the city of Shiraz, Persia (modern Iran), where a wine of that name was made for centuries (but can now no longer be made*).

    In addition to the wines called Syrah and Shiraz, the grape itself is widely used as a blending grape in the red wines of many countries. Its fruit flavors balance out the lesser fruitiness of other grapes, resulting in a more complete wine.

    Neither Syrah nor Shiraz should be confused with Petite Sirah, a different wine that cross-bred Syrah with another grape‡.

    In the “why is this so complicated” category, Shiraz wine refers to two different wines. Forget the old, embrace the new.

  • Historically, the name refers to a wine produced around the city of Shiraz in present-day Iran. By the ninth century, the city had a reputation for producing the finest wine in the world. As mentioned, that wine is no longer made*.
  • In the 19th century, Shiraz became an alternative name for the Syrah grape (explanation below), which is mostly used in Australia and South Africa.
  • There is no proven connection between the city of Shiraz and its wines, and the modern-day Shiraz, or Syrah, that is made in Australia, South Africa, and other countries.
  • The modern Shiraz or Syrah grape, was brought to Australia in 1832 by Scottish horticulturist, James Busby, the father of Australian wine. He brought vine cuttings from varietals in France and Spain that became the foundation of the Australian wine industry.
    So why did Syrah become Shiraz in Australia? Yes. No one has uncovered the smoking gun, but here’s what we do know.

  • Busby did not rename the grape Shiraz. But he labeled his cuttings Scyras and Ciras, which, in a heavy Scottish or Australian accent, could be pronounced somewhat like Syrah or Shiraz.
  • The earliest Australian documents use the spelling Scyras. It has been speculated by some wine historians that Shiraz is a so-called “strinization” of Syrah via Scyras (strine, also spelled stryne, describes the broad accent of Australian English).
  • “Shiraz” seems to have replaced “Scyras” in Australia from the mid-19th century [source].
    Those who wish to put bets on the mystery of exactly how Syrah became Shiraz should probably look to the “strinization” of Scyras (and wait for the smoking gun).

    Ready for more confusion? In different parts of the world, the grape is called Antourenein noir, Balsamina, Candive, Entournerein, Hignin noir, Marsanne noir, Schiras, Sirac, Syra, Syrac, Serine, and Sereine.

    Any wine (or other agricultural product) will taste different based on its terroir†. Chocolate from beans grown in the Côte d’Ivoire tastes different than chocolate from Venezuela.

    After terroir, the next differentiator is style, a reflection of the winemaker’s taste in making the wine.

    Let’s start with Syrah from France.


    The world’s most famous Syrah wines, the classic Northern Rhône reds, are elegant and tannic, with restrained fruit. They tend to be dark, earthy, smokey, and even leathery, reflecting their terroir and cold climate.

    Syrah is the main grape of the northern Rhône and produces classic, world-famous wines such as Hermitage, Cornas and Côte-Rôtie.

    In the southern Rhône, Syrah is used as a blending grape in such wines as Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Gigondas and Côtes du Rhône (Grenache usually makes up the bulk of the blend).

    The finest Rhone wines will age for decades. Some winemakers make less-extracted styles that can be enjoyed young for their lively red and blueberry characters and smooth tannin structure.

    Syrah wines made in the French style, from grapes grown in other cooler climates, tend to use the Syrah names.

    Beyond Australia, Shiraz has become a preferred name for the wines produced by New World winemakers, who fashioned their wines in the Australian style. It’s a stylistic choice—plus the qualities provided by their terroir—to vinify their wines in a separate way from French Syrah.

    (It may be confusing to the consumer, but if you’ve ever wondered how Shiraz is different from Syrah, here you have it!.)

    In warmer climates, Syrah yields riper berries that create rich, lush, intense, fruit-forward wines (often notes of blackberries), and generally bolder wines. These wines are higher in alcohol and less tannic than French Syrah. Accents are peppery rather than smokey [source].

    While the best Rhone Syrahs are vinified for aging, Shiraz wines are more approachable when young.

    Shiraz wines tend to be full-bodied with big, bold flavors, so they pair easily with big- and bold-flavored food.

  • Beef (including roast beef, steaks, even burgers)
  • Cheddar, blue cheese, aged cheeses like Parmigiano-Reggiano, and strong cheeses washed rind cheeses
  • Grilled and barbecued foods
  • Lamb chops, roast leg of lamb
  • Mushroom dishes
  • Pizza, especially pepperoni
  • Roast chicken and duck
  • Sausage
  • Stews
    As with most red wines, avoid pairing Shiraz with lighter foods like seafood and white fish.

    Syrah has a long documented history in the Rhône region of southeastern France, but for a long time, its origins were unknown. Then came the advent of DNA research.

    In 1998, a study conducted in the Department of Viticulture and Enology at University of California, Davis used DNA typing and extensive grape reference material from the viticultural research station in Montpellier, France.

    The conclusion: Syrah was the offspring of the grape varieties Dureza (father) and Mondeuse Blanche (mother) [source]. Both parents come from a small area in southeastern France, close to northern Rhône River. Based on these findings, the researchers concluded that Syrah originated in the region of the northern Rhône (southwestern France).

    And thence to Australia. It was long thought that Shiraz arrived in Australia in 1832 as French Syrah cuttings that were part of the original James Busby collection.

    Busby’s cuttings were planted in the Sydney Botanical Gardens, then the Hunter Valley, before making it to South Australia in the middle of the 19th century.

    However, Shiraz may have arrived a bit earlier, as part of the Macarthur collection which arrived in Sydney aboard the Lord Eldon in 1817 [source].

    The first commercial Shiraz vineyard was believed to have been planted by George Wyndham, who started planting his vineyard at his property Dalwood in 1831. Shiraz may have been planted in that vineyard, which predated the Busby vines (any newly planted wine vines need a few seasons to propagate before they can make acceptable wines).

    As a result of any and all of these situations, Australia now has some of the oldest Shiraz vines in the world [ibid].


    *In modern Iran, Shiraz wine cannot be produced legally due to the prohibition of alcohol in Islam. Before the Islamic Revolution in 1979, there were up to 300 wineries in Iran; now there are none [source].

    †Terroir, pronounced tur-WAH, is a French agricultural term referring to the unique set of environmental factors in a specific habitat that affects a crop’s qualities. These include climate, elevation, proximity to a body of water, slant of the land, soil type, and amount of sun. These environmental characteristics give the wines produced from these grapes a unique character.

    ‡Syrah is a cross between the Dureza and Mondeuse Blanche grapes of southwestern France. Petite Sirah is a cross between Syrah and Peloursin, a rare French variety from the Rhone-Alpes region, dating from 1880. It may have gotten its name because the berries are small, i.e., petite.



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