Santa Claus is making it down Santa Claus Lane at a pretty fast clip, but that doesn’t mean you have to start eating candy canes and fruit cake right away.
Vestiges of summer still are around. Most of my flowers haven’t yet frozen at my home. I still have leaves on some of the trees. And I still can get a “cheesecakesicle’ at Strano! Sicilian Kitchen & Bar.
Strano chef/owner Josh Steiner first sold these concoctions on the street a few months ago at the Cooper-Young Festival. I tried one. It was delicious.
I asked Steiner recently how he came up with the idea of cheesecakes on a stick. “We wanted to sell more than pizza and sodas,” he said. “We wanted to feature our cheesecake.”
But, he said, “I checked the weather outside and saw that it would be impossible to sell 90 slices of cheesecake when the weather is 90 degrees.”
He came with the idea of flash freezing to turn the cheesecake into whatever you choose to call it: a cheesecakesicle, cheese pop or cheesecake on a stick. “So, we flash froze them and they were delicious. We enrobed them in chocolate, caramel and candied nuts. They weren’t hard like a Popsicle, but they were pretty firm.”
How did they do? “We sold every slice.”
I love Strano’s cheesecake, which is made from Steiner’s recipe. “It’s actually homemade and you can taste it.”
When I was at the Cooper-Young Festival, I removed the stick from my cheesecake and ate it with a fork, but he saw people eat the cheescakesicles like they were supposed to, Steiner said. “People ate it on the stick right in front of me,” he said.
Cheesecakesicles are being offered this week as a dessert item at Strano. You’re welcome to eat them stickless or hold onto the stick.
I asked Steiner what else he might one day put on a stick. “Now the creative juices are starting to flow with that question,” he said. “Actually, a baked candy apple on a stick. I don’t know how I’m going to pull that off.”
Strano! Sicilian Kitchen & Bar is at 948 Cooper; (901) 275-8986