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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 taking several types of cheese by-products from the making of Emmental, Comté, Gouda, Cheddar etc to which skimmed milk, butter, cheeses, milk proteins, and melting salts are added along with polyphosphates, citrates, diphosphates and sodium phosphates, all mixed up and heated so it doesn’t need to be refrigerated.


The same company, Bel, also makes Babybels, another bland processed cheese that children love, wrapped in red wax and Kiri, with extra calcium and protein, which is also aimed for children, and Boursin, the spreadable cheese that comes in many flavours.

Bourgogne-Franche Comté

Cheese and dairy

Text © Dana Facaros

Images by ludovic, User:Elya + User:Fotandi