Eli’s uses only pure Madagascar Bourbon vanilla extract and vanilla beans from Nielsen-Massey Vanilla, headquartered in Waukegan, Illinois – a certified Fair Trade™ Company. Bourbon Vanilla is vanilla that is grown in the Bourbon Islands – Comoro, Madagascar, Seychelles and Reunion (it does not contain bourbon whiskey). Ours comes from Madagascar.The finest hand-picked vanilla beans and an exclusive cold extraction process create one of the finest vanilla extracts in the world. This vanilla is consistently rated “Superior” by the American Institute of Baking and is certified Kosher. Family owned and managed since 1907, Nielsen-Massey’s commitment to quality and high standards are why it is one of the most flavorful ingredients used in Eli’s Cheesecakes and desserts.
Eli’s uses Ida Red Apples from Michigan which are delicious, tart red apples that hold their shape well when baked.
We use only fresh apple slices, never processed or frozen. The apples are placed in what is known as Controlled Atmosphere Storage. This sealed, temperature-controlled room keeps the apples as fresh as the day they were picked until we are ready to use them in our desserts. Our apple filling is made with Michigan Ida Reds, sugar, cinnamon, and a bit of starch. Many other commercial fillings are made with high fructose corn syrup, fewer apples, and more fillers. Eli’s is proud of our strong partnership with the Michigan Apple Committee to support midwestern farmers
Bees are working round the clock on the South side of Chicago so that student beekeepers from the Chicago High School of Agricultural Sciences (CHSAS) can harvest enough honey to supply Eli’s with the key ingredient used to produce the Wildflower Honey Cheesecake. According to Marc Schulman, Eli’s President, “It’s a win win because by purchasing the honey from CHSAS, we not only support the school financially, but give students the opportunity to participate in many aspects of the food industry.” CHSAS senior Charlie Herrera agrees, “As a food science major, I like the fact that our teachers incorporate real business situations into the classroom…like the honey project.” Students are involved in every step of the process, from harvesting to preparing and bottling to delivery of the wildflower honey to Eli’s bakery located on Chicago’s Northwest Side. All proceeds from purchasing the honey as well as a portion of the proceeds from Wildflower Honey Cheesecake sales go the CHSAS’s college scholarship fund for deserving seniors.
Click here to watch a video on how our Wildflower Honey Cheesecake is made!