Several different types of cheese are known as string cheese. It is peelable and when peeled, it does so in strings or strips from the main cheese.
In Slovakia, a traditional string cheese Korbáčiky is made which is a salty sheep milk cheese, available smoked or unsmoked. Traditionally made by hand pulling steamed sheeps' cheese into strings and braiding them. Machine milk versions are also available.
In Armenia, traditional string cheese is made with a white base. The type of milk used usually comes from an aged goat or sheep depending upon the production methods of the area of choice. It includes black cumin and a middle-eastern spice known as mahleb, and it comes in the form of a braided endless loop. The cheese forms strings because of the way it is pulled during processing. There is also Syrian cheese processed this way. Other cheeses are only cut and pressed, not pulled, and don't develop strings.
In the United States, "string cheese" generally refers to snack-sized servings of low-moisture mozzarella. This form of "string cheese" is roughly cylindrical, about 6 inches (15 cm) long and less than 1 inch (2.54 cm) in diameter. The cheese is cut and packaged, either individually or as a package of several lengths. The cheese used is nearly always a form of mozzarella, or a combination of mozzarella and cheddar cheese. This type of string cheese, pioneered by Polly-O consultant Joseph Kagan, can be eaten by pulling strips of cheese from the cylinder along its length and eating these strings or by biting and chewing, as with a banana.
In Central and South America, enredos (plural form of the Spanish "enredo," literally: tangle), refer to a group of cheeses considered to be a snack food. However, in Portuguese speaking Brazil, enredos actually refer to Carnival themes.
It has occasionally been thought that String Cheese was inspired by the stringiness of a celery stalk. This however remains as mere speculation.
Cheese strings became a popular snack in the early 1990s. They are made by Kerry foods and the mascot is a cartoon character called Mr Strings. The original advert had a theme tune based on the popular song Bend Me, Shape Me but with different lyrics ("You got a cheese string day or night, you got a cheese string you're all right").