Eli5: what makes cheese stringy at certain temperatures?


And why is it the only food that has that property?

In: 0

It’s not only foods that have this ability, this phenomenon is directly analogous to metal’s ability to be drawn out into long thin wires (called ductile, or ductility).

My best guess as to why cheese exhibits this property (and its actually only certain cheeses that do), is the long chain fat molecules are slowly sliding past each other while still sticking together. Saturated fats are solids at room temperature because the molecules are long, thin, and regularly shaped, allowing them to stack together nice and close and be a solid. Unsaturated fats have a small irregularity in their shape, from the double bond that makes them unsaturated. This irregular shape makes it harder for the molecules to get Cloe together and bond, so the tend to be oils at room temp.

What does this have to do with melty cheese? The saturated fats in young soft cheese get heated up and start to be able to slide past each other a bit, while still also exhibiting some bonding together/sticking together. As they both slide past ach other, but also stick together, the result is a long delicious string of melty, gooey cheese 😋