TASTE
04/16/2012 07:53 am ET | Updated Aug 31, 2012

What Makes String Cheese Stringy?

String cheese is one of those snack foods that kids go nuts for; and parents love it for its convenience. It's easy to pack in a lunch and is almost impossible to make a mess out of. And because of this, we don't really think twice about this snack food at all. But, maybe we should.

If there's any food that should be questioned, you'd think that a string-able cheese would be high on the list. It's a cheese that can do what no other cheese does: it breaks into string-like strands.

But why is string cheese stringy? Has it undergone some insane, and really-bad-for-you process? Is it pumped full of chemicals we can't pronounce that may or may not have side effects? We wanted to squash our curiosity, and so we looked into it. And we found that there's nothing scary behind string cheese -- it's just all about the processing.

String cheese is just mozzarella cheese that has been heated to 140 degrees. At this temperature the cheese becomes very stretchy and the milk proteins move around and line up together in a row. It's this alignment that makes string cheese so stringy! And that's all there is to it. No strange processing. No toxic chemicals. Just the realigning of milk proteins.

Despite the fact that this cheese is string-able, some people still choose to not pull it apart. How do you eat your string cheese? Leave a comment.

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