The Laughing Cow

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La Vache qui Rit (The Laughing Cow)
Vache qui rit.png
Other namesLaughing Cow Cheese
Country of originFrance
(produced worldwide)[1]
Region, townLons-le-Saunier[2][3]
RegionJura
Source of milkCows
PasteurisedYes
TextureSemi-soft
Aging timeMade from aged cheeses,
but not aged itself
CertificationTrademarked brand name
 
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La Vache qui Rit (The Laughing Cow)
Vache qui rit.png
Other namesLaughing Cow Cheese
Country of originFrance
(produced worldwide)[1]
Region, townLons-le-Saunier[2][3]
RegionJura
Source of milkCows
PasteurisedYes
TextureSemi-soft
Aging timeMade from aged cheeses,
but not aged itself
CertificationTrademarked brand name

The Laughing Cow (French: La vache qui rit) is a brand of processed cheese products made by Fromageries Bel, and in particular refers to the brand's most popular product, the spreadable wedge.

The product[edit]

The cheese is a blend of cream, milk and fresh and aged cheeses, particularly comté, which are pasteurized to stop the ripening process. Versatile and portable because of its pasteurization process, Laughing Cow can remain unrefrigerated for a limited length of time. The archetypal Laughing Cow cheese comes wrapped in the individual serving-sized foiled wedges, and they are packaged in a round, flat box. Consumers have to pull a little red thread around the box to open it, and the foil packaging also features a red tab for opening. The company was founded in 1921 The Laughing Cow is available in these formats in different worldwide markets:

Discontinued formats of The Laughing Cow include:

The Laughing Cow USA introduced a TV commercial in 2009 where the company introduced a new slogan, Have you laughed today? In 2010 they updated the brand's website to include cheese recipes.

A wedge of Original Creamy Swiss

Laughing Cow cheese is available in its original flavor, a light version with 7% fat, and an ultra-light version with 3% fat. In addition, flavored versions of the cheese (such as ham, gruyère, garlic, paprika, mushroom, chèvre, bleu, hazelnut, pizza and onion) are also available in various markets worldwide.

Evolution of the brand[edit]

The Laughing Cow is red and jovial, and is almost always depicted wearing earrings that look like the round boxes the cheese comes in. On April 16, 1921, Leon Bel[4] trademarked his brand, called "La Vache qui rit," in France. In the trademark, the cow is said to have a hilarious expression. Bel had made the original drawing himself, after seeing a travelling meat wagon during World War I called "La Wachkyrie," a play on the word for Valkyrie. In the beginning she wasn't laughing, she wasn't red and she didn't wear earrings. This patent was the very first branded cheese product registered in France. In 1924, Benjamin Rabier, a famous illustrator, edited the drawing into something more like the image that prevails today. The blue and white stripes around the box date from 1955. Since 1976 both earring-boxes have been shown with the top-side visible. Before that year consumers were shown a top and bottom side. The current logo uses a Droste effect.

Worldwide popularity[edit]

It has long been popular in the United Kingdom and Canada as a children's snack.[citation needed] The cheese has also been a constant, but hardly popular product in the United States for a number of years. However, demand for the triangular wedges has skyrocketed recently, since the light version of the product was suggested as a viable menu item to followers of the South Beach Diet. The question asked by the French, "Pourquoi La Vache Qui Rit rit?" ("Why is The Laughing Cow laughing?") has become synonymous with the product.[citation needed]

Groupe Bel announced on October 2, 2005, that they plan to open a 13 million euro factory in Syria. This was the first such direct investment in that nation by a French food company.[5]

The product is localized by name nearly everywhere it is sold:

In the countries of the former Yugoslavia, a very similar type of cheese produced in Croatia and called Zdenka is very popular and has become a genericized trademark.

Other associations[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.bel-group.com/en/brands/brands/la-vache-qui-rit
  2. ^ http://www.rfi.fr/contenu/20091106-vache-rit
  3. ^ http://www.lamaisondelavachequirit.com/tout-sur-la-marque/la-vache-qui-rit-sa-vie-son-oeuvre.html
  4. ^ http://www.bel-uk.co.uk/the-laughing-cow.asp
  5. ^ "Bel cheese manufacturers open CAD 18.17 million factory in Syria". Business News (October/November 2005) - Syria. Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (Canada). Retrieved 2007-12-09. 
  6. ^ German submarine U-69 (1940)#Emblem
  7. ^ Mohamed Hasseinein Heikel: The wise man of the Middle East By Robert Fisk Apr 9, 2007, 05:58
  8. ^ http://editionslavachequilit.com/

External links[edit]