I have this theory that string cheese was invented as a fun way to get kids to eat cheese. "Here, look, you get to actually peel away and play with your food!" As a child, how could you not fall for that genius marketing scheme? It wasn't until I became older and wiser that I realized how gross and inefficient it is to pull apart your string cheese. This might be an unpopular opinion, but I'm proud to say I bite my string cheese, and I don't really care if people find that weird.
String cheese was most likely invented in 1976 in Wisconsin, the cheese capital of the US, by Frank Baker of Baker Cheese. Made from fresh mozzarella, it was an idea so clever that over the course of four generations, string cheese has become close to the entirety of Baker Cheese's product line.
Why would I pull my stick of cheese apart and eat it little by little like a nibbling mouse instead of just taking a nice, big bite?
While I do find myself rebelling against social norms most of the time, I do have a good reason as to why I bite instead of string my cheese. Even before the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, I would classify myself as a low-key germaphobe, meaning that while I didn't have hand sanitizer in both of my back pockets at all times, I never touched anything in the subway, I don't hold the railing on an escalator, I never eat from buffets, and I never pull away at my string cheese.
Not only do I find the act of pulling string cheese apart gross (how clean are your nails?!) but I don't find it particularly satisfying. Why would I pull my stick of cheese apart and eat it little by little like a nibbling mouse instead of just taking a nice, big bite? Eating string cheese by pulling it apart is like drinking a glass of milk with a spoon — it takes you 10 times longer to finish with a lot more effort. While I do respect the creativity and hustle of the Baker family, it's time for all of this string cheese biting shaming to end.
Whenever I'm with friends or family, me biting into my string cheese instantly becomes a conversation starter. I'll get looks that say, "What is wrong with you?" and comments of, "What did you just do?" Unlike eating other foods, I have to act extra confident and brace myself for the judgement whenever I bite into my string cheese while in the presence of others. But I usually end up persuading people to at least try to bite into their own cheese. Some are really fascinated, as if they never realized that it's not actually mandatory to peel apart the stick of cheese.
Look, however you choose to eat your string cheese, own it. I just can't peel the cheese away piece by piece knowing that I'd be using my nails to separate it. It's a no for me. And I don't think I deserve to be shamed for that. The next time you fancy one, just try a bite. You can start in the comfort of your own home away from prying eyes, but you never know . . . you just might like it.