At first glance the small, round cow's milk cheese seems decidedly unexciting, one of the mild, semi-hard, ‘‘children’’ cheeses Germans apparently favor for their unobtrusiveness, the very opposite of the characterful, often pungent varieties their French neighbors like to make and eat. However, the intense orange color is unusual and the flavor special enough to find out more about it. Indeed, the Mööhrenlaibchen, literally ‘‘small carrot round‘‘, is a modern classic of the new German artisanal cheese scene. Its origin is at the Dottenfelder Hof near Frankfurt am Main, a renowned Demeter estate where the ideals of the anthroposophist Rudolf Steiner are put to practice. But Mööhrenlaibchen also taps into German history: a long tradition of coloring cheeses (for various reasons), as well as vegetarianism and the Lebensreform movement that formed as a countertrend to the heavy and rapid industrialization and urbanization at the end of the 19th century. The article explores the complex role the carrots play in this modern German artisanal cheese.

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