Chemists Apply Scientific Method to Grilled Cheese

Plus, three other dishes that could benefit from some science.

Food nerds: rejoice! Smart people have put the humble-but-utterly-perfect grilled cheese under their microscopes in order to determine the characteristics that make up the ultimate grilled cheese. Recently, the Royal Society of Chemistry and the British Cheese Board collaborated on a series of experiments aimed at determining the best way to melt cheese on toast, reports Smithsonian.

Here’s the formula:



For the non-scientists out there, what this means is that “the perfect slice can be made by melting 50 grams of sliced hard cheese, such as cheddar, on a slice of white bread, 10mm thick, under the grill.” Further, the distance between the cheese and the heat source should be 18cm and the grill should be at a temperature of 115°C.
Though the perfect grilled cheese may still be a subjective matter for most of us, it’s nice to know that important people consider it an important subject. Here, three other foods we’d like to see scientists take a close look at:
 Peanut Butter & Jelly: Yes, this has been studied before, but we’re not sure if actual scientists have measured the perfect quantity of peanut butter and the direction said butter should be spread and the type of bread that should be used. Don’t even get us started on jam.
 French Onion Soup: This is another rather simple dish where there are just enough variables at play to make it complex for the home cook. Recounting the unmemorable versions we’ve had at cheap bistros is enough to make us wish some guy or gal in a lab coat would measure the things like: the ideal thickness of the onions, the amount of butter to use, what type of stock yields the best taste, and how long to simmer the whole thing. Then, we can use this here handy cheese toast guide to top the typically gratinéed soup.
 The Candy Bar: Sure, there are as many of these as there are colors of the rainbow. But there must be an ideal caramel-nougat-chocolate-cookie ratio. Dark chocolate verses milk chocolate? Nuts or no nuts? Butterscotch? Peanut butter? These are important problems, and the people—er, at least us—we want answers.