activity

Discover your favorite string cheese in this a-peel-ing taste test you can do with your friends and family.

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safety
  • None
difficulty
  • Beginner
time
  • 30 minutes

Prepare Ingredients

3 different brands
string cheese
1 per person
glass of water
2 per person
plain crackers (or 1 slice plain sandwich bread per person)

Gather Equipment

1 per person + 1 extra
sheet of paper
1 per person
marker, pen, or pencil
1 copy per person
Tasting String Cheese scoring sheet
1
 

Today, you and your friends or family will practice being professional tasters. You’ll taste different brands of string cheese and determine which one is your winner by rating them based on their flavor, their texture, and how well they peel into strings (their function).

 
2
 

Before you start tasting, take a minute to think about string cheeses you’ve eaten in the past.

  • What did the string cheeses taste like?
  • What were their textures like?
  • How well did they peel? Could you peel thick pieces of cheese? Thin pieces of cheese?
  • Were there string cheeses you liked a lot? What were they like? How about string cheeses you really didn’t like? Why didn’t you like them?
 
3
 
3 different brands
string cheese

Ask an adult—or a friend or family member—to be the Tasting Organizer. This is an important job! They will be in charge of setting up the tasting. The Tasting Organizer should:

  • Assign each brand of string cheese a number.
  • Write down the numbers and the brand names on a separate piece of paper to keep track of them.
 
4
 

Meanwhile, each taster needs 1 sheet of blank paper. Using a marker or pen, divide the paper into the same number of sections as string cheese samples you’ll be tasting. Label the sections “Sample 1,” “Sample 2,” “Sample 3,” and so on, depending on how many samples you have.

 
5
 

Make sure each person has a glass of water and 2 crackers or a slice of sandwich bread—these are to help cleanse your palate in between tastes.

 
6
 

Next, the Tasting Organizer should cut whole string cheeses in half so there are enough pieces for each taster to have half of a string cheese from each brand. (Be sure to save at least 1 whole string cheese from each brand for testing its stringiness later).

 
7
 

The Tasting Organizer should lay out the string cheese halves on each taster’s sheet of paper, placing a half piece of the first brand in section 1, a half piece of the second brand in section 2, and a half piece of the third brand in section 3.

 
8
 

Give each person a copy of the Tasting String Cheese scoring sheet to keep track of tasting notes.

 
9
 

Time to taste!

  • Taste the string cheese samples one at a time.
  • Take small bites, chew slowly, and take sips of water and bites of cracker or bread in between samples.
  • Jot down a few notes about the flavor and texture of each sample on your Tasting and Testing String Cheese scoring sheet.
  • What did it taste like? Was it too salty? Not salty enough? Just right?
  • What was the texture like? Was it smooth? Soft? Rubbery?
 
10
 

Give each sample a Flavor Score and a Texture Score based on what you thought of its flavor and texture. Remember: A higher score means you liked it more!

 
11
 

Next, as a group, test the function of each string cheese. Starting with a whole string cheese from brand 1, take turns pulling strings off the cheese. Try pulling thicker strings and thinner strings. Observe how easy it is to pull strings off the cheese and how easy it is to control the size of the strings you pull. Repeat with brands 2 and 3. (The Tasting Organizer should keep track of which string cheese belongs to each brand.)

What happened as you pulled the string cheese?

 
12
 

Give each string cheese a Function Score based on your observations, starting with Sample 1. Think about:

  • Could you control the thickness of the strings you peeled?
  • Did the string cheese break or crack while you were peeling it? Remember, a higher Function Score is better.
 
13
 

Calculate the Overall Score for each string cheese by adding your Flavor, Texture, and Function Scores.

 
14
 

Time to pick a winner! Which of your samples had the highest overall score? That’s your winning string cheese. Look at the key (made by the Tasting Organizer) to see which brand matches your winning sample.

Remember, the Tasting Organizer assigned each sample a number before you started the tasting—use that sheet here.

 
15
 

Have each person who did the tasting share their winning string cheese and say a little bit about why they chose it as their winner.