Many human being claim they have actually a preference for white or yellow cheese once it concerns cheddar or American. But have you ever before stopped come think around why they"re two different colors?

The cows certainly aren"t yellow, and also the cheese seem come taste equally as sharp no matter what hue they happen to be. So what"s the scientific research behind this duality in the deli case?

To brush increase on our expertise of cheese, Food reached out come Zoey Sachs, education director at Bedford Cheese Shop in brand-new York City, to uncover out why is cheddar usually obtainable in two various hues.

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It transforms out, the difference is all around some dye.


"Some (cheese producers) obstacle annatto seed on the cheese," Sachs called Because milk from different cows have the right to vary contempt in color, part dairies dye your cheese come ensure a much more uniformly colored end product.

If you think one type of cheese merely tastes better, that"s likely just your mind play games, according to Sachs. "As much as I"m concerned, that doesn"t add any flavor," she said.

Anatto, according to the Wisconsin center for dairy products Research, is just one of the earliest dyes known to humans. Originally provided by the Aztecs because that a selection of things including body paint, annatto is one extract native a shrub dubbed achiote and also it"s get an impressive in Bolivia, Brazil, Columbia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guyana, India, the Philippines, Jamaica, Mexico, Peru, Kenya and Surinam., that is sourced mainly from southern America.


Annatto began being provided widely in the dairy products industry about 150 years ago to give particular cheeses a an ext desirable look, specifically when they essential to be transported and preserved for longer periods of time. White cheese tends to present imperfections more readily and as consumer got more used come yellow-orange cheese, it ended up being an intended option., many cheddars are yellow. While many cheesemakers use annatto, some use an man-made coloring certified dealer instead, according to Sachs. The best way to know precisely what you"re eating is to examine the nutrition label. Part producers, favor Kraft, also include paprika, which imparts a deeper yellow color.


Since annatto is a herbal additive that doesn"t influence the flavor, the selection is really approximately one"s personal preference. Choosing the finest quality cheese, Sachs said, doesn"t have to do through the color, however rather wherein it was produced, just how long it was aged and also where the client buys the from.

How cheese is packaged influence the flavor an ext than the color.

"At supermarkets, a the majority of cheddars and also cheeses room wrapped in plastic, which actually suffocates (them) and also takes away from the flavor," Sachs told


To acquire the best tasting cheese, Sachs recommended buying the from the glass instance at any market or grocery store store, quite than picking up the pre-cut stuff from the dairy aisle. The cheeses that sit in the case, open and also unwrapped, space usually the a better quality. At home, wrapping the cheese in paper or a cloth will likewise keep the tastier longer.

If you"re provided to pre-packaged cheese (as plenty of of us are), it"s totally fine to skip the sharp stuff in favor of a milder and creamier product.

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Erica Chayes Wida
Erica Chayes Wida is one award-winning journalist, food writer and also recipe editor that helmed a neighborhood newspaper prior to joining"s freelance team. A mommy of two, she loves singing, collecting old vinyl and, that course, cooking. Erica is forever ~ above a an international quest to discover the finest ham and cheese croissant and also brainstorms best over a sauce pot the bubbling pasta sauce. Her work has been featured on BBC Travel, Saveur, Martha Stewart Living and PopSugar. Follow follow me on Instagram.