When stumbling around trying to make a grilled cheese sandwich at 2 a.m., any old cheese will do. But for perfection in the medium, science has taught us that there are some cheeses better suited to create the ideal melty, gooey texture desired in a grilled cheese sandwich. Ever wonder why some sandwiches end in a puddle of oil instead of achieving that perfect, cheesy stretch? It's all in the chemistry.

In their latest YouTube series Reactions, the American Chemical Society breaks down the different elements of cheeses that make them better suited for melting, namely calcium and pH. A lower pH makes the calcium—which acts like a glue holding the milk proteins together—go all loosey goosey, allowing the proteins to flow with the fats and moisture when the cheese is heated. In other words...

So what do they recommend? Alpine cheeses like Gruyere, a Spanish Manchego and various forms of Gouda, provided these examples aren't the super-aged kind. The pH levels in long aged cheeses are too high, meaning the cheese will release all of its oil and get clumpy instead of stretchy, which is why they recommend using a mild cheddar instead of a sharp cheddar, which is aged longer.

And now we know the right way to make the perfect grilled cheese sandwich.

[via Consumerist]