Monday, 1 July 2013

How now, Laughing Cow? a Review

Don't things always seem so much more glamorous in French? 

I was walking up to school the other day behind someone sporting a shopping bag - one of those sturdy, resuable supermarket ones -  with the motif "L'instant fraicheur" inscribed on it. So much better than "the fresh instant". Or "the instant of freshness". My French isn't bad, and in the past, it's been pretty good, and so I still sometimes decide to think in French, or do some idle translation in my head when the English isn't so appealing (I know, I know, the hours just fly by...).

So here's a thing. Whenever someone says The Laughing Cow to me, I hear "La Vache Qui Rit" - which, if you couldn't guess, is the French name for it. Those cheese triangles were present in the fridge of all the French families I have ever stayed with, and last year on our camper van trip to Normandy, in one of those awesome French hypermarkets, we found a pack of La Vache Qui Rit 'Apero-cubes' - individually wrapped 'aperitif' sized cubes of La Vache, with intriguing flavours - paprika, olive, blue cheese...

Frankly, being the huge francophile that I am, if it's good enough for the French...

I must admit that despite all this, I don't buy it (unless it's packaged in lurid yet strangely irresistible aperitif cube type things), but I was approached recently to see if I would like to review a new flavour of The Laughing Cow cheese triangles. La vache qui rit? Mais oui, bien sur...

Doesn't necessarily sit well with the 'cook it from scratch processed food be damned' image I like to portray. But don't judge me too harshly. You see, the other thing that enticed me was the new flavour - emmenthal.

I love a bit of emmenthal.

I was sold.

Sure enough, carefully packaged in a polystyrene box with its own cool pack, not one but 4 packs of La Vache turned up - 2 of emmenthal and 2 of blue cheese flavour.

We tested them extensively - mostly Blue who has a passion for blue cheese, and ate most of it in his sarnies.

Disappointingly, and as may be you'd guessed, though, they don't really taste of either emmenthal or blue cheese (respectively) although the blue cheese one does have a definite and recognisable tang. Pink wasn't keen on either flavour. Blue was positive, although this waned over time, and the Husband and I, well, if I'm honest, it's just not really our thing. They're not particularly unpleasant or anything, I'd rather just eat proper cheese. The real thing. Le vrai...

On the other hand, if you like Laughing Cow generally, you will probably like these. In their favour, they are only 25 calories a triangle, but don't really taste 'diet' so if you're on something like the 5:2 diet, which I am (currently rather half-heartedly) following, they could be a good thing.You know, spread on a tasty Ryvita or something...

So there you have it. Even as La Vache Qui Rit, I can't give them a rave review. But may be you will? And I'm nothing if not open minded (well, sometimes) so if I've judged them too harshly, do try and persuade me otherwise...


  1. Cheese spread in any language will do me. Lived on the stuff in my early 20's and whilst I don't ever buy it these days, I can feel a yearning coming on. Cheers RJ... Cheese spread on toast for dinner tonight!!

  2. I'm glad you've raised the thorny issue of La Vache Qui Rit. I've never really understood the near addiction that some French people have to this product. There's nothing terrible about it, but I've known some French people who seem to base a large percentage of the meals that they cook around this strange beast. It's on my list of the things that I don't really understand about France, like their willingness to put up with long-life milk. Personally, I find the idea of a laughing cow slightly sinister.


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