Harvey Shmidlap Seeks the Perfect Cheesecake

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Author: Eugene Shafir
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Harvey Shmidlap has a half baked plan to make his family famous. He is sure that once the Eponymous Food Organisation, the international body responsible for naming foods, tastes his mother’s cheesecake the name Shmidlap will join the esteemed ranks of other eponymous delights such as the Pavlova, Madeleine, Stroganoff and Wellington.

There are, however, problems. Not only has his mother, Lusha, stubbornly refused to bake a cheesecake for ten years, she won’t even tell her only child the recipe insisting that can only divulge it to a daughter. To help butter her up Harvey tries to enlist the aid of his wife a vet more interested in furry animals and his uni student son who hates everything Harvey stands for.
Not that Harvey stands very often. Most of the time he can be found sitting in Helga’s cake shop doing his research – that is eating cake. But cakes have ears, and not only does Helga get wind of Lusha’s cheesecake, but vainglorious gluttons from around the globe soon wants a slice of the pie. One man in particular will stop at nothing to get his hands on Mrs Shmidlap’s recipe; in fact, he’s even prepared to get his hands on Mrs Shmidlap!

This is a hilarious tale about family, and love, and food.... mostly food! Although firmly based in Melbourne and its famous Acland St cake shop strip, it traverses the world weaving Harvey’s quest with historical and hilarious explanations for the origins of other eponymous foods. Like a truly great cheesecake the only way to know what it is like is to really sink your teeth into it and enjoy the feast. If that’s not enough to convince you to read the book – it contains a recipe for cheesecake!

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