The Reason Milk And Cookies Taste Great Together

Whoever says that dunking a cookie in a glass of cold (or warm) milk is something just for Christmas Eve or for kids ... is lying. There's no better sensation than grabbing your favorite store-bought cookie, a homemade chocolate chip cookie, or a famous Oreo ("milk's favorite") and snacking on it along with a glass of milk — whether in the morning, on your lunch break, or at the end of a long day. The taste that emerges from this pairing is unlike any other and makes a person instantly smile.

But why? It's not just the playful sense of diving into a glass of milk cookie-first, but what the combination stirs in us. The texture of the cookie becomes softer, the milk starts tasting like the cookie as it absorbs its crumbs, and what you feel in your mouth is probably indescribable. 

Believe it or not, it's not all in your head: There is a chemical reason our taste buds love milk and cookies together.

Milk and cookies go well together because of science

American University chemistry professor Matthew Harting explains that chocolate chip cookies and milk go great together because they both have what are called emulsifiers (via Quartz). Emulsifiers are compounds that can force one liquid to converge with another liquid that it might normally repel, like oil and water (a process known as an emulsion). This occurs between milk and the chocolate in cookies, both of which contain emulsifiers. And where does it happen? You guessed it: on your tongue!

The milk helps you digest the sweetness of the cookie and makes the chocolate taste smoother. In other words, the emulsification process allows for a perfect combo that's greater than the sum of its parts. Plus, the fat in the milk acts as a palate cleanser and enhances the flavor — especially if the milk is warm, according to Bon Appétit

Milk also has an amino acid called tryptophan that helps reduce stress and even improve sleep (per Healthline). Of course, as appetizing as it sounds as an evening snack, be careful about overeating sugar every day before falling asleep; there might be severe health consequences to that habit. But to treat yourself once in a while, this is the perfect combination!

Cookies and milk provide a whole world of taste, aroma, and deliciousness that can pretty much only happen in your mouth. Thank you, science!