White Cheddar vs. Yellow Cheddar Cheese

White cheddar cheese
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Question: White Cheddar vs. Yellow Cheddar Cheese

Whenever I need to buy cheddar cheese, my first choice has always been the yellow cheddar. I’ve never thought of using white cheddar for anything. Can you tell me what the difference is between yellow cheddar and white cheddar?

Answer: This is a great question! You would think that by color alone there would be a significant difference between yellow and white cheddar.

Actually, there is no difference at all! When produced, cheddar cheese is naturally white to light yellow in color. The dark yellow, almost orange, color we typically see in cheddar cheese is the result of a coloring additive. This comes from a plant extract of the achiote tree called annatto. This additive gives the naturally white cheddar cheese that deep yellow, or orange, appearance.

Though there are different varieties of cheddar cheese, such as mild, medium, and sharp, the annatto does not contribute to the difference in taste. It is how long the cheese is aged that gives cheddar cheese the different flavors. In Middle Eastern cooking, cheese is a wonderful addition to many dishes. Cheddar cheese can be used to enhance the flavor of tuna pita sandwiches, and or as a topping on some varieties of hummus.