Chemistry reveals the surprising recipe for perfect nacho cheese

Super Bowl weekend is nearly here, and that means football, beer, and nachos.

Let’s face it: Not all nachos are created equal. There are the nachos you make at home and the nachos you buy at the stadium.

The key difference is the texture of the cheese: Stadium nachos have that magical liquid texture you get from processed cheese product that you just can’t replicate from melting shredded cheddar in your microwave or oven.

But thankfully, the experts at the American Chemical Society (ACS) have found a way for you to get that velvety texture in your own kitchen without having to turn to processed cheese.

Aside from cheese, all you need are two key ingredients: Beer and sodium citrate, which you can order online (Ebay sells 4-oz. packages for $4.89).

The way it workst is that sodium citrate works to rearrange the structure of proteins in the cheese that gives natural cheddar its soft, yet solid, texture.

When sodium citrate interacts with the calcium in the cheese proteins, it replaces calcium atoms with sodium atoms, thus restructuring the proteins and transforming the texture from a soft block to a liquid velvet, perfect for pouring on tortilla chips:


Here are the steps to making the ultimate nacho cheese, which you can find in the description below this ACS video:

  1. Put a pot on the stove at medium heat.
  2. Add one cup of your favorite beer.
  3. Add two teaspoons of sodium citrate and stir until dissolved.
  4. Bring beer to a simmer and slowly add your favorite cheese, preferably a cheddar, and whisk it in until you’ve got a smooth, creamy cheese sauce.
  5. Take it to the next level by adding your own special ingredient(s). Hot sauce? Peppers? Onions? Whatever floats your boat.
  6. Pour over your nachos, or serve as on the side.
  7. Become a Superbowl snack legend.

Check out the full ACS video on YouTube or below:

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