Key Differences Between Yellow And White American Cheese

American cheese is a huge part of American culture, and it is a component in many different areas of fast food in the US. It goes very well with lots of different dishes including lasagnas, hotdogs, and cheeseburgers.

Key Differences Between Yellow And White American Cheese

If, like me, you’ve always wondered what the difference between yellow and white American cheese is, you’ve struck gold finding this article!

We have compiled a list of all of the ways that these two kinds of cheese vary, including texture, flavor, and fat content. You will certainly find everything you need to know about these cheeses in this ultimate guide. Let’s dive in! 

Differences Between Yellow And White American Cheeses 

While yellow and white American cheeses are sometimes used interchangeably, there are many differences between the two. Let’s take a look at these differences!

Differences In Flavor

There are some flavor differences between these two kinds of cheese which highlight the contrasting ways that these cheeses have been made.

Yellow cheese is very pungent and usually has a much stronger flavor than white American cheese. The flavors often vary a lot between the different brands of Yellow American cheese depending on the way the brand has flavored the product. 

White American cheese has a much milder flavor, meaning the different brands’ versions of the cheese are much more difficult to differentiate between. In most cases, all white American cheeses taste the same.

For these two kinds of American cheese to differ in flavor in this way, they will need to contain a large number of artificial flavors. Yellow American cheese, which has a much stronger flavor, contains many more artificial flavors than the white version of this cheese.

Nutritional Differences 

The main difference between these two kinds of cheese is the nutritional differences. While they are similar in lots of ways, they vary in terms of salt and fat content.

Yellow American cheese contains a lot more salt and fat than white American cheese. This gives the cheese a much bolder flavor. White American cheese has a lower fat content and a lower salt content, as well as a much more mild flavor. 

While this cheese isn’t too bad for you when it is eaten in small doses, if you eat this cheese often, it does amount to a large nutritional difference.

The texture of these two kinds of American cheese is very similar to each other. The only difference in terms of texture is that white cheese may dry out and become crumbly a lot more quickly. This is due to the lower fat content that it contains.

Differences In Production 

To create these differences in American cheese, there must be some variation when it comes to the production of the cheese. 

In yellow cheese, they take out a step of the process to make the cheese the yellow color that it is today.

When white American cheese is produced, the milk in the cheese is treated with a sour component known as citric acid. The milk is then drained and curdled to create a whiter color.

After this, calcium chloride is added which turns the milk slightly yellow before the cheese is color treated to make it white.

How Fat Content Affects Your Cheese 

How Fat Content Affects Your Cheese 

Fat content in your cheese will affect the way that the cheese cooks. Cheddar has the highest fat content out of all cheeses, while American cheese has the lowest fat content.

The flavor is much more pungent and strong in cheese with high-fat content, and it also tastes much more natural. Cheddar has a very pungent flavor which is strong and retainable when cooking.

If you cook this cheese into a dish, the dish will maintain the strong flavors of the cheddar.

This is not the case for American cheese because the fat content in this cheese is comparatively lower. This cheese will vary in flavor, and it will not maintain its flavor as much when it is placed in a dish.

Which Cheese Works With Which Food?

Yellow Cheese 

Yellow cheese is great for adding to things like hot dogs, burgers, and steaks. It is very complementary to proteins and other American staples. This is because the yellow cheese is very salty which works well with the flavors in these protein dishes.

White Cheese 

As the flavor of white cheese is very different from the flavor of yellow cheese, it works much better with dishes such as lasagna and grilled cheese sandwiches. 

Some people enjoy white cheese on their burgers and hot dogs, but yellow cheese is usually preferred. 

The reason for this preference is that white cheese is much milder than yellow cheese, meaning that it works better with carbs and vegetables. This cheese is also much stronger and better at holding its shape than yellow cheese.

Can You Use Yellow And White Cheese Interchangeably?

In lots of ways, these two kinds of American cheese are interchangeable. White cheese can often be used in place of yellow cheese, but it is less common to use yellow cheese in exchange for white. 

For example, if you used yellow cheese for your lasagna, your guests are likely to be quite disappointed!

When Did Colored Cheese Come About?

While we know milk as being white, centuries ago, milk was golden. This was related to the diet of the cows. For this reason, cheese used to be yellow. 

However, once cheesemakers caught on to the idea that they could skim the cream and sell it for a larger income, they began producing white cheese. This cheese contained less fat and flavor than yellow cheese.

Makers then started to use food dyes to hide the fact that their cheeses were made with cheaper products. They made all of their cheeses the same color so that no one would be able to tell the difference.

Final Thoughts 

So, there you have it! If, like me, you’ve always pondered the difference between white American cheese and yellow American cheese, you now have all of your answers. These two kinds of cheese have some similarities, and lots of differences, and these have all been explored above. 

Yellow American cheese is much stronger in flavor than white American cheese, and it works better alongside protein. White American cheese is fantastic in lasagnas and grilled cheese sandwiches.

Mark Williams
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