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La Vache qui rit

France’s best selling cheese

La vache qui rit

The Vache qui rit must be laughing because this bland processed cheese with its individually wrapped triangles sold in a round box is annually the, or one of the best selling French cheeses around the world, and proof (if anyone ever doubted it!) that the French know a thing or two about marketing. The photo above is from the Tour de France.

Made in Lons-le-Saunier (where there’s a Vache qui Rit Museum) and Dole in the Jura, Laughing Cow was invented in 1921. It uses several types of cheese by-products from the making of Emmental, Comté, Gouda, Cheddar etc, then adds skimmed milk, butter, cheeses, milk proteins, and melting salts along with polyphosphates, citrates, diphosphates and sodium phosphates, all mixed up and heated so the Vache qui rit doesn’t need to be refrigerated—which is a big selling point in many countries.


The same company, Bel, also makes Babybels, a bland processed cheese wrapped in red wax that children love, Kiri, with extra calcium and protein, which is also aimed for children, and Boursin, the spreadable cheese of the famous funny Du Vin, Du Pain, Du Boursin TV ads that comes in many flavours.

Bourgogne-Franche Comté

Cheese and dairy

Text © Dana Facaros

Images by ludovic, User:Elya + User:Fotandi