Here's the thing about string cheese: It is to be strung, then rhythmically whipped into the mouth. It should never be chomped straight from the stick. People who think otherwise are not to be trusted.
String cheese is the ultimate "play food;" it's been providing entertainment straight from the brown bag for ages. The reason it strings? The temperature at which mozzarella is heated -- a fiery 140 degrees -- realigns the milk proteins, which transforms the cheese solid into tearable strands.
All string cheese should string, but there are a few crucial factors that separate the good from the bad. Quality string cheese tears in both thick and thin strands; some should be as fine as hair. String cheese should be stretchy, with enough malleability to lasso a drinking straw or a finger, should one be inclined.
Then there are the "lap hairs" or "runaway wisps." These are the tiny little cheese pieces that detach from the string and fall onto your lap, the table or in between the keys of your computer. They get all dry and crunchy, and they're so thin they're almost translucent. When discovered -- usually a few hours after eating a cheese stick -- they offer a salty punch that one usually experiences in private (you should never be seen eating a wisp off your sweater, but you should definitely save it to stick on your tongue when nobody's watching).
We tested 11 different string cheeses and graded them on these factors. The results were surprising and we strung a lot of cheese. Read all about the scores below, but first, please answer the poll about your personal cheese-stringing method.