Explaining the Color Palette of Cheese
Everyone knows that cheese is made from milk, which is always white (save for its chocolate cousin). We would rightfully be wary of orange or yellow milk - but these colors are accepted and expected in cheese. What changes happen that transform cream from its natural white to the pale yellow of Parmesan, the bright, buttery orange of Gouda?
But why is cheddar yellow or orange when milk is white?
If a cheese has a natural buttery yellow color, beta carotene is responsible. Beta carotene is a fat-soluble yellow pigment and antioxidant found in grass. After a cow chews the cud, beta-carotene dissolves into the animal’s fat stores and ends up in fat globules in its milk.