Cheesecake is always a crowd pleaser, but don’t be surprised if your go-to recipe completely differs from a friend’s. Cheesecake ingredients and textures can vary depending on the region. New York claims one of the most popular styles—a dense, creamy dessert that uses heavy cream and eggs to enrich the cream-cheese base. Chicagoans will serve you a version that is firm on the outside and creamy in the center, while Italian-Americans decided to drop the cream cheese altogether in favor of ricotta. F&W’s guide to cheesecake goes beyond traditional recipes (but we have those, too) with ideas for tangy goat cheese swap-ins, ways to bake with your slow cooker, tricks for not cooking at all and flavors that fit any season.