Our ancestors started dying their cheese orange as a part of a fraud dating back to the 17th century
Have you ever wondered why certain sorts of cheese look more white-ish, while others appear with a bright orange-y tone?
The natural color of dairy products such as milk, butter and cheese are actually defined by the breeds of the cows that produce the milk and the food that’s been given to the animals. For example, back in the day, some English breeds of cows, like the Guernsay and Jersey, produced milk with an orange-yellow-ish color that later made the other products appear yellow or bright orange as well. The reason behind the bright colors is the fact that these breeds have been fed with grass high in beta-carotene. The color of the cheese and the other dairy products was believed to be a sign of high or low quality. So, in order to trick customers many cheese-makers started dying their products.
In the 17th century a great number of British manufacturers were using marigold, saffron, carrot juice and even latto in order to trick their customers into believing the cheese was of the highest quality.