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Why do we immediately want whatever heavenly cheesy goodness lies within this casserole dish?

Behold: one of the oldest and most important tricks in the food marketing book. We’ve even said it ourselves in the confines of the Food Republic Test Kitchen: “Make sure you get the cheesy pull-away shot.” Of course we’ll get the cheesy pull-away shot — we wouldn’t dream of passing up that kind of guaranteed success. We’d put cheese where cheese doesn’t even go, just to capture that moment. If you stuffed an eclair with mozzarella just to slowly yank it apart for the purpose of grabbing our attention, we’d call it fair game. And considering our limitless attention span for rainbows and dairy elasticity, the instant fame of the rainbow grilled cheese was only a matter of time.

According to Quartz, when advertising agencies discovered that the cheesy pull hijacks our brains with strong positive memories of comfort, fullness and sharing food with loved ones, its place was cemented in the food-styling sphere forever. Watching cheese stretch “brings people into the moment and gets them out of their right minds,” says Mark DiMassimo, chief executive of the advertising agency DiMassimo Goldstein. “They have this iconic bit of hunger transmitted to their brains and they just without thinking go out and eat a lot of the product.”

This transmission, related to the synapses that made you addicted to cheese in the first place, will always be a valuable asset to marketers of things that make you go “Well, I probably shouldn’t, but…”