20 Days of Chill 2020 - Cheddar

Welcome back to 20 Days of Chill. Today's prompt is 


I live in Switzerland, the land of cheese (and chocolate), and until four or five years ago we could not get our hands on cheddar. In the meantime our grocery stores have caught up, though:

I'm glad, because I need it to make Shepherd's Pie on St. Patrick's Day!

Shall we talk about why cheddar is orange? 

Obviously it goes back to when people noticed that yellowish cheddar had a better taste than the white one. The difference was that the yellow one was made from summer milk. 

During spring and summer, cows eat fresh grass, which increases the beta-carotene level in the cows' milk. Beta-carotene is the natural pigment that gives carrots their orange color. As a result the milk produces cheese with a deeper yellow color.

In winter the cows' diet consists mostly in hay, and beta-carotene levels drop, so cheese made from this milk will be paler.

Consumers couldn't tell why, but they preferred the yellowish cheddar that had more flavor, and due to the old rule of demand and supply, cheese shops were able to charge more for the yellow cheddar. 

Due to the old rule of people becoming greedy, some cheese makers decided to rip off their customers. So they dyed their white winter cheddar and sold it for the higher price. They did so by adding ground annatto seeds, and boom, this cheddar looked yellow / orange as well.

And this, children, is why our cheddar is orange.

What about the white cheddar? It's often known as Vermont Cheddar. Even though it may not have been produced in Vermont. 
Same goes for Swiss Cheese (just another North American copycat of our Emmentaler) vs Cheeses of Switzerland - roughly 450 varieties of cheeses made in Switzerland, the most popular being Emmentaler, followed by Gruyères, Appenzeller and Raclette. 

Their AOP label (Appellation d’Origine Protégée = Protected Designation of Origin) guarantees that the milk is sourced, and the cheese is actually produced, processed and refined in clearly defined regions of Switzerland. 

Speaking of Emmental, and since we're doing some story time on cheese, should we talk about how the holes get into the cheese?

They are made by mice who are nibbling away the big wheel of cheese.

Just kidding. It has to do with cultures of bacteria which turn milk to cheese. The bacteria helps produce curds, which are pressed and soaked in brine inside of cheese moulds. While the cheese ripens at a temperature of about 75° F,  the bacteria release lactic acid which produces carbon dioxide and form air pockets.

These air pockets are the holes in cheese. They are also called eyes. The larger the eyes of the cheese, the more pronounced its flavor. This has to do with longer fermentation period which allows bacteria more time to act and create bubbles. 

However, the larger the holes in the Swiss cheese, the more trouble for cheese slicers! 

Do you like cheese? Which one is your favorite? 

Let me know in the comments below. Hope you come back for 11 more days of chill! In the meantime why don't you visit my fellow bloggers' posts over here.

Thursday, January 2: A new decade
Friday, January 3: Beautiful places
Monday, January 6: Is that chicken?
Tuesday, January 7: Show me the way
Wednesday, January 8: Naps
Thursday, January 9: Snow
Friday, January 10: Fri-Yay
Monday, January 13: Social Media
Tuesday, January 14: Cheddar
Wednesday, January 15: Dream on
Thursday, January 16: Popcorn
Friday, January 17: Snapshot
Monday, January 20: Last meal
Tuesday, January 21: Battle of the phones
Wednesday, January 22: Sign it in ink
Thursday, January 23: Spam
Friday, January 24: May I take your order?
Monday, January 27: A cocktail, if you will
Tuesday, January 28: Bring me to you
Wednesday, January 29: Oh, thank goodness!


  1. Thanks for the education on cheddar. I knew that a lot of brands had dye or food color, one reason I buy white cheddar. I love baby Swiss and now understand why, the milder flavor.

  2. Except this doesn't apply in Australia. Our cattle are grass fed all year round and so our cheese is naturally yellow all year round (as is our butter).

    And cheese and chocolate, two of my favourite food groups *wink*

  3. There are not many cheeses I don't enjoy. I love trying new ones as well, as I never know when I'll find something. Cheddar is my favorite, though orange and white doesn't matter to me. I kind of bounce back and forth with them.


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