Golden Girls told the funny and poignant stories of three widows and a divorcee living together in Miami. Yet the co-star of the series was probably a dessert.
After all, it wasn’t a good episode unless the four women sat at the kitchen table for a late-night cheesecake binge.
Dorothy said in one episode that the four women had “great late-night talks right here,” with cheesecake, accompanied by ice cream or chocolate. In one show, Blanche even offered to grab a can of whipped cream from her bedroom, but the other ladies declined.
Blanche often said said the dessert was to treat depression. One episode she pulled the cheesecake out of the fridge because she found two gray hairs.
The cheesecake was vintage Golden Girls. Rose told plenty of St. Olaf stories over a plate of cheesecake. Sophia entertained with her “Picture it” tales from Sicily. And Dorothy dished her wisdom and sarcasm as the ladies dined on their favorite dessert. And of course, there were all sorts of conversations about men.
Golden Girls producers estimated they went through 100 cheesecakes. There were 180 episodes. So do the math. The dessert was featured in more than half of them. Show runners didn’t even bring up the dessert until late in the first season.
And here’s a fun fact. Bea Arthur, who played Dorothy, disliked the dessert. But like the great actress she was, she made us all believe she loved it. After all, she was a multiple Emmy winner.
Barry Fanaro, a producer of the Golden Girls, said: “Bea hated cheesecake. If you watch it carefully, you see her moving it around on the plate a lot. But it’s not that often that she puts it in her mouth. We didn’t know.”
Sophia, Dorothy’s mother, once made a family recipe for double fudge amaretto ricotta cheesecake. She needed to gain back a pound to get back to 99. Fans have since created the Golden Girls cheesecake. You can find a version of it here.
Fanaro said: “Can you think of something more comforting? I guess it is what it was. That’s what that was all about, wake up in the middle of the night and eat some comfort food.”
Mort Nathan also was a show producer and screenwriter. He said he wasn’t sure why they picked cheesecake, but added it was funnier than another favorite dessert.
He said: “I don’t remember specifically, either, but I’m sure the conversation was, as Barry said, in the middle of the night I want comfort food.
“The obvious choice is ice cream,” Nathan said. “That’s what you go to… what’s a little different? Eating cheesecake at 1 in the morning is stranger, is a little more decadent. And it’s indefinable why, it just seemed a little funnier.”
Now, are you craving some nostalgia as a topping on your cheesecake? Check out these Golden Girls cheesecake memories. Promise, it’s the perfect comfort food, with absolutely no decadent calories.