If you or your children are looking for a healthy, protein rich snack, you might just reach into the refrigerator for a cheese stick. These are small, individually formed sticks, about three inches (7.62 cm) in length, that come in wrapped packages. The first cheese sticks on the market were almost invariably made of mozzarella cheese and were frequently called string cheese. Today you can find cheese stick styles in a variety of different cheeses, and some even are marbled combinations of two or more cheeses.
The string cheese stick was seen as a great kid’s snack because they are fun to eat. Unlike some of today’s cheese sticks you could pull off lengths of the cheese or strings to eat one by one. They weren’t merely the province of children; many adults enjoyed them too. Further, Italian and American chefs in particular began coating and deep-frying mozzarella cheese sticks. You can find this appetizer at a variety of restaurants, usually accompanied with marinara sauce for dipping.
String cheese grew in popularity, inspiring other cheese stick offerings. Most commonly you’ll find cheese sticks in cheddar, jack, American cheese, and of course, many in mozzarella. Most cheese sticks not made with mozzarella are not as “stringy” as string cheese, but they still make for a handy snack.
For cheese connoisseurs, the cheese stick may fail to please. They are almost always made from very mild cheese, geared toward the child’s palate. While mozzarella should be mild and creamy, many prefer sharper cheddar than the mild cheddar offered in most cheese sticks. Cheese lovers may also find American cheese, which is processed differently than most other cheeses and is frequently called a cheese product rather than cheese itself, a little disappointing. Others love the taste and flavor.
As more schools offer a snack period for most kids a few hours after school has begun, the cheese stick can be a great offering, much superior to cookies or chips. Though some cheese sticks are high in sodium, many are also high in protein. If your family loves cheese sticks, perhaps one of the best “deals” is to buy a multi-pack at warehouse stores like Costco® or Sam’s Club®. The protein value and calcium levels of the cheese stick make these a nutritious snack and you may just need an abundant supply.