Cheddar cheese is not naturally orange. You can thank dishonest 17th-century cheesemakers for our wonderful orange cheddars.
Original cheddars are yellowish-orange, not bright orange. Regular cheddar cheese is made with all milk and cream from the cow. The beta-carotene in the grass the cows eat gives the cheese a naturally rich, slightly orange pigment.
However, when frugal (or greedy) cheesemakers realized they could profit from selling off the cream skimmed from the milk, and then turning the remaining milk into cheese, they decided that adding dye coloring could increase their profits and they sold the cheese as full fat, when in fact it had no cream and wasn’t real cheddar at all.
It was simply dyed that color for one end purpose: to make more money.
The irony being, some 400+ years later, in the 21st century, we’re only now starting to remember and realize the importance of natural ingredients, and that in fact, foods made with natural ingredients now bring a premium price.
Now the tables have turned, and the pendulum is swinging back the other way. We’re moving more toward a healthier lifestyle, and with that comes a relearning phase.
I know part of our homesteading plan is to make homemade cheeses, hence this article. I’ve always wanted to make cheese, and when looking up information on how to make cheddar cheese decided to write this to expound on the importance of natural ingredients, and healthy eating.
We’re moving forward in the right direction now I think, and the healthy homesteaders out there I think will agree, that this is a good thing not just for our health, but also for our families.