This French cheese turned 90 this year and today all over France, you can enjoy it for free (“100% remboursé!”) so eventhough we’ll have to pay for it here in the US, how about a delicious quick dinner recipe with this old French cheese to join the fun? This is not your typical artisan French cheese but it has a special spot on most “plateau de fromage” (cheese platter) in France — children love it and it is definitely a cultural icon. So which cheese are we talking about? We are celebrating “La Vache quit Rit” or the “The Laughing Cow” in the US. This gorgeous cow is a children’s favorite (perfect for school lunches) and also makes a great on-the-go low calorie snack. So to honor her 90th birthday this year, check Art of the Home easy recipe below, 4 quick facts about this French cheese and one of our favorite commercial of this fun spirited cow.
Quick Dinner Recipe with a 90-Year-Old French Cheese
Prosciutto & Laughing Cow Puff Pastry Squares (Friand à la Vache qui Rit)
INGREDIENTS (for 6 friands)
- 2 sheets of thawed puff pastry (e.g. Pepperidge Farm)
- 6-8 slices of prosciutto
- 4 “The Laughing Cow” wedges
- Egg yolk
- Defrost puff pastry. When the pastry is defrosted, pre-heat oven to 400 °F.
- Line cookie sheet with a parchment paper and place 1st puff pastry sheet on top.
- Spread Laughing Cow cheese on the puff pastry sheet. Make sure you leave about 1/4 inch on each side.
- Remove prosciutto fat and place on top of the layer of Laughing Cow cheese. Cover with 2nd puff pastry sheet. Seal the edges by folding the bottom pastry sheet over the top of the top pastry sheet and pressing with your fingers to seal.
- With a knife, cut a few small slits (4-6) in the top pastry sheet to allow for venting while cooking.
- To add a rich golden color to your puff pastry squares, mix the egg yolk in a small cup with about 1 TBSP of water. With a food brush, brush the egg yolk mixture on top of the pastry sheet but don’t put egg wash on the side otherwise your “friand” will not rise.
- In your preheated oven, place the cookie sheet in the center rack and bake for 30-35 minutes. But don’t peak within the first 15 minutes to make sure your pastry puffs up.
- Remove from cooking sheet and let cool for about 5 minutes before serving.
- With a pizza slicer or large knife, slice into 6 smaller squares.
- Serve hot or warm with a green salad.
A FEW SUGGESTIONS
- Cheese: you can use various cheeses — grated parmesan for example is a great complement to prosciutto. Other delicious options include crumbled Roquefort (but then skip the prosciutto) and Boursin cheese with herbs.
- Appetizer: slice smaller squares and serve them on an appetizer platter.
90 Year-Old-French Cheese: Facts & Video
And for some fun trivia about this diva, here are 4 interesting facts:
- The Laughing Cow was born in 1921 in the lovely Jura region, France (East of France near Switzerland).
- The original drawing was created by the famous French illustrator Benjamin Rabbier (also known for his storybooks starring the lovable French duck “Gédéon”). The Laughing Cow changed a little bit however from the first drawing after the inventor of “The Laughing Cow”, Léon Bel, decided she should have red skin and stylish earrings — great idea!
- She laughs in 120 countries. When she travels, she is called “The Laughing Cow” in the US and the United Kingdom, “La Vaca Que Rié” in Spain, “A Vaca Que Ri” in Portugal, and the “Rowka Smieska” in Poland.
- 10 million portions are enjoyed every day. Picture this — if you staked up all of those Laughing Cow wedges, it would be as high as 500 Eiffel Towers!
90-Year-Old French Cheese on French TV: Laughing Cow Commercial
Children often knew this commercial by heart and amused parents would jokingly tell them “You learn this more easily that you learn your school lessons!” (Ah ça, ça s’apprend mieux que les leçons!”) — such fun!https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NSZJVNT5Gcs&w=588&rel=0
C’est très difficile de trouver une star du fromage – It’s very difficult to find a cheese star
Il ne faut pas être un fromage… – You can’t be a cheese that is…
Trop banal – Too blend
Trop fort – Smells too strong
Trop maigre – Too light
Ca va pas non, trop typé – Are you crazy, too different
Trop lourd – Too heavy
Pour être un grand nom du fromage et plaire à tout le monde – To be a great cheese and please everybody
Il faut avoir une sacrée personnalité – You need an amazing personnality
La Vache qui Rit, le fromage à part – The Laughing Cow, a unique type of cheese