Melted cheese often tastes better than non-melted cheese because of the chemical reactions that occur when cheese is heated. When cheese is heated, the proteins and fats in the cheese undergo a process called denaturation, which changes their structure and allows them to interact with each other in new ways.
One of the key proteins in cheese is called casein, which is a complex molecule that forms the structure of cheese. When cheese is heated, the casein molecules begin to break apart and interact with each other, forming new structures that give melted cheese its characteristic flavor and texture.
In addition to the denaturation of casein, the fats in cheese also play a role in the flavor of melted cheese. As cheese is heated, the fats begin to melt and release their flavors, contributing to the overall taste of melted cheese.
Another factor that contributes to the taste of melted cheese is the presence of Maillard reactions. Maillard reactions are chemical reactions that occur when proteins and sugars are heated together, and they are responsible for the complex flavors and aromas of cooked foods. In cheese, the Maillard reactions occur between the proteins and sugars present in the cheese, contributing to the flavor of melted cheese.
The texture of melted cheese is also different from non-melted cheese, and this can contribute to its improved taste. When cheese is melted, the proteins and fats in the cheese interact to form a smooth, creamy texture that is often more appealing than the texture of non-melted cheese.
Overall, the combination of denaturation, fat release, Maillard reactions, and changes in texture all contribute to the improved taste of melted cheese compared to non-melted cheese. These chemical reactions create new flavors and textures that are unique to melted cheese, making it a popular ingredient in many dishes.