Why Is Cheddar Orange?
Cheese is white, right?
After all, cheese comes from milk.
Milk comes from cows (and goats).
Every cow I know of makes white milk.
So why is cheese orange?
Such was the conversation with our friends Matt and Nicole during Carrie’s birthday dinner at their house last night.
Carrie actually took the initiative to look it up, and sent the results of her cheese search to me.
I’m sharing them with you here now.
Why is cheddar cheese orange?
Cheese taste is [...] highly affected by the food an animal eats. If a cow eats a lot of onions, its milk will lead to oniony cheese.
So back in the day in England, Cheddar Cheese (that is to say, cheese from Cheddar, England) was found to be quite tasty indeed – better than most other English cheeses. As it was so popular, the folks in Cheddar [the town of Cheddar] could charge a wee bit more for their cheese than other folks.
Then some scalawag noted that there was an orange tint to the Cheddar cheese. Being a greedy little [...expletive removed...] , this scalawag added a tad bit of coloring to his own cheese, and started selling his cheese as Cheddar as well. People’s tastes being what they are, they probably equated “more orange” as meaning “more Cheddar-like”, and started paying more for the more orange cheeses.
Meanwhile, back in Cheddar, they couldn’t understand why people went ga-ga over orange, as the color had absolutely nothing to do with the taste. The taste came from the fact that their cows ate different grasses and that the cheeses were aged in different storage facilities than other cheese making areas of Britain.
That’s why Cheddar Cheese is orange. Because we want it to be.
What dye is used in making cheddar cheese orange?
Nowadays the most common of these is annatto, a yellow-red dye made from the seeds of a tree of the same name. Dyeing the cheese eliminated seasonal color fluctuations and also played to the fact (or anyway the belief) that spring/summer milk had a higher butterfat content than the fall/winter kind and thus produced more flavorful cheese. Figuring if yellow = good, orange = better, some cheese makers began ladling in the annatto in double handfuls, producing cheese that looked like something you’d want to carve into a jack-o’-lantern. In recent years some smaller operations have rebelled and stopped using colorants. Be forewarned–according to one cheese making text, uncolored cheese is a “sordid, unappetizing melange of dirty yellow.” But at least it’s real.
And now you know THE REST of the story.
Humans are weird.
June 13th, 2010
- December 29, 2013 08:46 AM : Poem: When Spoken Into Being
- December 20, 2013 12:40 AM : Poem: My Problem
- December 19, 2013 08:25 AM : Christmas Lights Scavenger Oddities: December Date Night
- December 18, 2013 01:46 AM : Thoughts On A Perfect Fire
- December 17, 2013 01:32 AM : Poem: For The Soldiers
- December 15, 2013 12:08 PM : Why Get Out Of America
- December 15, 2013 02:05 AM : Poem: As An Eagle
- December 14, 2013 02:02 AM : Poem: Howling In The Night
- December 13, 2013 12:38 AM : Poem: To The Mouse (# 2)
- December 12, 2013 05:49 AM : Go Broncos!
- December 10, 2013 01:34 AM : Poem: Anointed
- December 09, 2013 08:42 AM : Poem: Father Christmas Is My Step-Dad
- December 07, 2013 12:41 AM : Poem: I See
- December 06, 2013 01:47 AM : Poem: I Feel So Separated
- December 03, 2013 12:43 AM : Poem: It's Time
- November 30, 2013 12:25 AM : Poem: The Monkey
- November 29, 2013 02:05 AM : Poem: Crushed
- November 28, 2013 12:28 AM : Poem: The River
- November 26, 2013 12:34 AM : Poem: A Maze
- November 25, 2013 02:52 AM : Poem: What Legacy?
- November 24, 2013 12:36 AM : Poem: Regarding Guilt
- November 17, 2013 03:55 PM : A downtown billboard
- November 16, 2013 04:55 PM : 25 More Places to Travel
- November 15, 2013 12:21 AM : Poem: True Beauty
- November 10, 2013 02:00 AM : Poem: The Shortness Of Life
- November 08, 2013 12:26 AM : Poem: To The Mouse
- November 05, 2013 09:31 AM : Scary Skydiving
- November 05, 2013 07:31 AM : Poem: Knowing I'm An Angel (To You)
- November 03, 2013 12:41 AM : Poem: Confused
- November 01, 2013 12:39 AM : Poem: There Is A Light
- October 31, 2013 12:18 AM : Poem: The Fog
- October 30, 2013 01:12 AM : Poem: Why Do I Run To Utopia
- October 29, 2013 12:35 AM : Poem: A Rose
- October 26, 2013 10:51 PM : Sprichwort (Advice): Pursue The Story In Your Heart
- October 25, 2013 05:30 AM : Denver in the morning