What is The Laughing Cow cheese?
I know you wouldn’t guess from my youthful looks (what?), but I’ve been working on perfecting my cheese spread for almost a century – since 1921! So if you’re wondering just how my little creations are made, you’ve come to the right place.
Before we start, I’d like to say one thing. We don’t add any of those nasty colours or preservatives into my cheese spread recipe – or indeed into any of my cheeses. That means that from my original triangles to my flavours range and dippers, there are plenty of ways to enjoy my wonderful spreadable and dippable cheese – so read on to find out how The Laughing Cow range is made.
The history of cheese spread
Ever tried the fabulously decadent Fondue Savoyarde? This delicacy from the French alpine region of Savoie was regularly enjoyed by my founders Leon and Jules Bel in nearby Jura in the early 20th century. The traditional fondue is a blend of two heavenly ingredients – wine and cheese. The wine is heated to a point where the cheese can gently melt into it, turning it into the perfect destination for dunking hunks of baguette. The French even made eating it a game, where anyone who dropped the bread into the gooey mixture had to perform a forfeit. I think we can all get behind a game based around eating cheese…
Anyway, you’re probably wondering what on earth Fondue Savoyarde has to do with The Laughing Cow. Well, the truth is, it proved the magnificent inspiration behind my own cheese spread recipe. Our intrepid heroes Leon and Jules wondered how they could bring something so fantastically smooth to everyone in a way that not only keeps for a long time, but also tastes amazing.
The truth is that melting large amounts of cheese usually results in separation of layers, and can prove a bit of a mess. But there’s a reason why Fondue Savoyarde doesn’t do this! Most white wines naturally contain citrates, an organic acid that’s also found in many fruit juices. That not only provides wine’s delightfully tangy taste, but it also has an interesting effect on cheese, helping to stop the separation of fat and therefore maintaining the fondue’s lovely and creamy texture.
This realisation was a eureka moment for Leon and Jules, and a pivotal step on their journey to create my wonderfully smooth and tasty cheese spread recipe.
What is in The Laughing Cow cheese?
The Laughing Cow cheese is made by mixing milk powder (which is blended with water to bring it back to milk), cheeses and butter with emulsifying salts. The emulsifying salts simply play the same role as the citrate in Fondue Savoyarde, stopping separation and creating a lovely creamy texture.
This is all heated at a very high temperature, and that ensures that cheese spread lasts far longer than regular cheese. In fact, my signature triangles are heated at such a high temperature that they could almost be classed as one of the long-life products you keep in the cupboard! It keeps for a very long time in the fridge and is individually sealed to keep it at its best.