July 4, 2011
Cheddar cheese is orange.
Cheddar cheese is orange because its dyed that way. In times past, the color of cheddar cheese would vary with the time of the year that the milk was taken from the cows. When cows are grass-fed, more beta-carotene ends up in the milk. Spring and summer produce a more colorful cheese. Colorants make for a more consistent product.
Most of the color comes from annatto. In small quantities annatto can color an oil yellow. More can make oils orange.
Since coloring the cheese made for a more appealing product, one could logically conclude that more color is even better: thus orange.
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