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White Cheddar vs. Cheddar: What’s The Difference?

White Cheddar vs. Cheddar: What’s The Difference?

Explore the delightful world of White Cheddar vs Cheddar cheese with me, and uncover the secrets of these popular cheeses! Let’s talk about their differences, similarities, and common misconceptions.

Whether you’re a cheese expert or just a casual cheese lover, understanding the differences between these two cheese varieties can be somewhat important, especially if you are unsure which one to include on a cheese board at your next party or to use for your Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread recipe

Before we get into comparing orange Cheddar cheese with white Cheddar cheese, let us first understand their taste, history, and why people love both of them.

What Is Cheddar Cheese: An Overview

Cheddar cheese is a classic and one of my cheese variety favorites! It’s crafted from cow’s milk and boasts a smooth texture that evolves as it ages. It can come in different colors such as white, orange, yellow, or red. 

With a reputation for its tangy and rich flavor, Cheddar cheese has become a popular choice in kitchens worldwide. You can consume it on its own, melted into a sandwich, or grated over pasta—Cheddar cheese brings a delightful blend of tradition and taste to your plate.

As we go through this guide, I will discuss what makes them different and how different they are from one another.

What is White Cheddar: An Overview

White Cheddar, a variant of Cheddar cheese, shines with its pale appearance and creamy texture appearance. It is also a renowned type of cheese celebrated for its sharp taste, similar to its counterpart.

Personally, it looks more refined as it adds a touch of sophistication to my dishes, making it a fantastic choice when my recipe calls for a “cleaner” look. But aside from that, is there any difference?

White Cheddar vs Cheddar Cheese

We are finally here to explore the similarities and differences between these beloved cheeses. From their shared cow’s milk origins and aging process to their distinct flavors and appearances, we’re about to uncover what sets white Cheddar and orange Cheddar cheese apart in the world of dairy delights. Let’s dive in and savor the cheesy competition!


In terms of their tastes, both cheeses bring a sharp, nutty flavor that can elevate any dish from ordinary to extraordinary. No matter the color differences of these Cheddar cheeses, they still come from the same cow’s milk.

They also share the same experience of aging and maturing for several months to develop their distinct flavors. As they age, these cheeses evolve from their mild beginnings into robust and tangy delights.

The Color Difference: Natural or Artificial?

Now, let’s address the elephant in the room: the color. Why is Cheddar orange, and why is white Cheddar…Well, white? 

The answer lies in the compound annatto, which gives the Cheddar cheese its orange, yellow, or red hue. Annatto comes from the seeds of the achiote tree that cheesemakers use during their production to add color.

But do not be fooled by appearances! The color does not affect the taste; it is just a fun visual distinction between these cheesy contenders.

Taste and Texture: Is There a Difference?

While their colors can differ, the flavor of both cheeses is the same, with or without the orange coloring provided by annatto, the fruit of the achiote tree. So, choosing between white Cheddar and orange Cheddar often depends on personal preference.

Common Misconceptions

Some people believe that orange Cheddar tastes better than white Cheddar, but as you may have guessed, there isn’t much basis for the comparison. To each their own, as they say.

Here are some other common misconceptions about orange and white Cheddar cheese:

Orange Cheddar Is More Natural Than White Cheddar

This belief is false. The annatto used to color orange Cheddar is a natural food coloring, but it is still a coloring agent. White Cheddar is the natural color of Cheddar cheese, while orange Cheddar is the dyed version.

Orange Cheddar Is Sharper Than White Cheddar

This belief is also not true. The sharpness of Cheddar cheese is determined by the amount of time it is aged, not by its color. A sharp Cheddar can be either orange or white. Ultimately, if the cheeses are aged the same, they do not taste different.

White Cheddar Is More Expensive Than Orange Cheddar

This is not always the case. The price of Cheddar cheese can vary depending on the brand, the quality, and the age of the cheese. Some brands of white Cheddar are more expensive than some brands of orange Cheddar.

Either “regular” cheddar or white cheddar can be labeled as th pricier vintage, as this is dictated by the amount of time the cheese has aged.

Choosing Between White Cheddar and Cheddar

In choosing between white Cheddar and the orange variation of Cheddar, the only thing that I find worth considering is which color would look better for that specific dish that I plan to make. Aside from their colors, they are not that different at all!

To put it simply, you can choose either of them if you think their color does not matter. I love how they can look so different but are the same underneath their pretty colors.

Top 5 Ways To Use White Cheddar vs. Cheddar

  • Grating: White cheddar is a good cheese to grate because it melts smoothly and doesn’t have a strong flavor (unless it’s vintage white cheddar).
  • Cooking: White cheddar can be used in cooking to add flavor and richness to dishes, like a nacho cheese sauce or cheese fondue.
  • Baking: White cheddar can be used in baking to add flavor and texture to cakes, cookies, and other desserts. Or Cheddar Bay Biscuits.
  • Pasta dishes: White cheddar can be added to pasta dishes for a creamy and flavorful sauce.
  • Scalloped potatoes: White cheddar is a popular choice for scalloped potatoes. It melts smoothly and adds a sharp flavor to the dish.

The bottom line

So there you have it—White Cheddar vs Cheddar cheese might look like they taste differently, but both have the same flavor. The only thing that sets them apart is their color. So, do not hesitate to use either of them for a recipe that asks you for Cheddar cheese!