It's common knowledge that mice love cheese. Do they, or is it just that they'll eat anything that's available? What's the origin of the mouse-cheese belief?
I wasn't happy with the lack of peer-reviewed data in the [previously accepted, now deleted] answer, so I did a literature search.
It appears the topic has been examined several times over the years.
- Weihong, Veitch and Craig, An evaluation of the efficiency of rodent trapping methods: The effect of trap arrangement, cover type and bait. New Zealand Journal of Ecology (1999) 23(1): 45-51
They found mice and Norway Rats on New Zealand islands prefer chocolate over cheese.
Of five different bait types tested for monitoring rodent presence, the preferred order was chocolate, cheese, soap, wax and oiled wood.
A number of other studies are relevant, but hidden behind paywalls, such as this one which compared:
cheese, chicken, tuna fish, peanut butter, canary seed, Cat stars, wheat, PCD (MOD) pellets and Non-tox)
However, their results are hidden behind a paywall.
This one, on the other hand published their results in the abstract, but not their methods. They concluded that:
soft wheat, canary seed and rice were the most preferred foods, particularly when fish meal was added.
Although Google says the word "cheese" appears inside the article, it isn't clear whether cheese was tested.
It appears that, while mice will go for cheese, it isn't the irresistable delicacy it is traditionally thought to be, with many other baits preferred.