Cheese Pull

Cheese Pull


Even if you don't know the term, you've definitely seen more than one “cheese pull”. It refers to the visually appealing stretch of melted cheese when a food dish, often involving melted or gooey cheese, is pulled apart.

The cheese pull is a phenomenon that has gained significant cultural attention in recent years, especially on social media platforms where food content is widely shared and celebrated. This stretchy cheese effect is particularly prominent in things like pizza, grilled cheese sandwiches and quesadillas.

The cultural history of the cheese pull is closely tied to the rise of food-centric content on social media platforms such as Instagram, YouTube and TikTok. People started sharing videos and photos of themselves pulling apart cheesy dishes, highlighting the gooey and tantalising qualities of melted cheese. The cheese pull became a visually satisfying and shareable moment that could quickly capture the attention of viewers.

While it's long been an effective advertising tool, the cheese pull rose to Internet ubiquity in the mid 2010s … a particularly cheesy era for viral food, and a time during which liking junk food became, particularly for women, a common online personality.

Journalist Bettina Makalintal, in a story for Vice in 2019, writes:

"Cheese pulls are active acts of manipulation trying to sucker your neurons into wanting something that probably won’t taste as good as it looks.”

Advertisers use it to communicate with the part of our brain that’s not verbal, with the primal core of our being that doesn’t understand words but responds with hunger, thirst, arousal and desire.

The cheese pull can “trigger deep-seated memories of food experiences” to “signal an enjoyable experience in you", says Uma Karmarkar, an assistant professor of marketing at the Harvard Business School in a QUARTZ article.

Although the cheese pull is probably here to stay, it may have already become passé and somewhat hackneyed in the world of online food culture. Also, taken to the extreme, cheese pulls can be somewhat gross. Spend some time online searching on #cheesepull and you’ll see what we mean.

Finally, note that the cheese pull is not only an old trick, it’s also a trick that is not limited to cheese. The “sweating bottle” of soft drink, the slow “beer pour” and the glossy “hair flip” all come from the same playbook.

Story Idea: Anonymous [Ed: Nobody wants to own this one.]


In breaking news that will impress you readers from the future, on 16 September 2023, in celebration of National Guacamole Day [Ed: yes, it's a thing], the snack brand Doritos broke the record for the world’s highest cheese pull after they dipped a giant 4 metre chip into cheese sauce using a helicopter in Somerset, England. The cheese-covered chip was raised 15 metres into the air before the dangling string of cheese broke. You can watch that happen HERE.



1. Classic pepperoni pizza cheese pull. Image: Getty Images / iStockphoto.
2. Toasted sandwich cheese pull. Photo: Ralph Smith.
3. Group cheese pull
4. TikTok #cheesepull … 1.6 billion views and counting
5. Kraft Singles #CheesePullChallenge, February 2021
6. Video
Doritos performs highest cheese pull (@DoritosUK, via X)
7. Refreshing Coca-Cola TV Commercial "Sweating Bottle" by Lawrence Bridges
8. Guinness advertising is big on the slow pour


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