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When it comes to satisfying those in-between meal hunger pangs, Babybel cheese is a popular go-to snack for parents.  My ‘French-speaking Mom’ used to call them “La Vache Qui Rit,” or “The Laughing Cow.” This semi-soft cheese is perfect awesomeness of convenience, taste, and nutrition, these mini cheese wheels are a favorite with adults and children.

But have you ever wondered about its storage methods, room temperature expiration date, or nutritional information? This article will answer all your questions and more.

What is Babybel Cheese?

Babybel cheese is a popular cheese snack from the Bel Group that produces an assortment of products and flavors. It’s a semi-hard cheese made from pasteurized cow’s milk, coated in a distinctive red wax.

Originating from France, these cheese snacks are often compared to Dutch Edam cheese. Available in seven types of cheese in the United States, including Sharp Original, Original, Cheddar, White Cheddar, Gouda, and Light, Babybel cheese is a ready-to-eat snack that’s consumed worldwide.

A Good Source of Calcium

One of the first things to note about Babybel cheese is that it’s a good source of calcium. Calcium is vital for maintaining strong bones and teeth, and this product provides a significant percentage of your daily requirement. Great for growing kids!

It is also high in protein, making it a great addition to your diet, whether you’re an adult looking to meet your nutritional needs or a parent seeking healthy snack options for your children.

The Unique Wax Coating

One of the distinguishing features of this cheese is its red wax coverings. The wax, made up of fully refined paraffin wax, micro-crystalline wax, and a low percentage of Polyethylene, safeguards the cheese from potential spoilage and helps give it a long shelf life.

Importance of Refrigeration

While the protective wax coating does help in preserving the cheese, it’s essential to understand that it should be refrigerated. Refrigeration helps maintain the creamy texture and prevents the cheese from drying out. However, it’s also safe to consume this snack at room temperature for a few hours, such as in a lunchbox.

Can You Freeze Babybel Cheese?

According to the Babybel website: Freezing Mini Babybel® cheese is not recommended, as it can have a negative impact on its quality. It is advised to avoid subjecting the cheese to freezing temperatures in order to maintain its optimal taste and texture.

It is important to note that freezing can cause changes in the structure and consistency of the cheese, resulting in a less enjoyable eating experience. 

So, it is best to store the cheese in a cool and dry place, such as the refrigerator, to preserve its freshness and flavor. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your product remains delicious and satisfying.

Understanding Expiration Dates

When it comes to understanding the expiration date of Babybel cheese, the general rule to remember is that it’s advisable to consume the cheese before the ‘best before’ date printed on the wax. However, the cheese can be enjoyed for up to five days after opening the package. Beyond this point, the quality of the cheese may start to decline.

How to Tell if Its Gone Bad

Not sure if your Laughing Cow is still good to eat? The best way to determine this is through visual and olfactory cues. If the texture of the cheese appears hard, rubbery, or covered in mold, or if there are white spots visible, it’s best to discard the cheese. A slimy or sticky texture, along with an off-odor, is also an indication that the cheese is no longer safe to consume.

An Awesome Snack

What makes Babybel cheese a perfect snack is all that it offers: taste, convenience, and nutrition. The small size makes it easy and fun to carry around, and the variety of flavors caters to diverse taste preferences. On top of this, it’s a great addition to lunchboxes, providing a quick, healthy snack that’s rich in protein and calcium.

The Nutritional Information

For health-conscious cheese lovers, it’s essential to note that Babybel cheese is not just tasty but also nutritious. It’s a good source of calcium and protein, making it a valuable addition to any balanced diet. Read all of the information needed here.

Babybel Cheese: Not Just for Kids

While the size and packaging of Babybel cheese might lead you to think it’s primarily for kids, it’s actually a great snack option for adults too. The nutritional benefits coupled with its convenience and taste make Babybel cheese an excellent choice for everyone.

Great for breakfast with a bagel and coffee or lunch in a salad or at night with a little rum or beer and also as a midnight snack when you get a little bit of the munchies.

Babybell cheese with tomatoes
Photo by Dana Tentis:

What About Vegetarian Cheese Lovers?

Yes, this snack caters to vegetarian cheese lovers too! It’s made with vegetarian rennet, making it a suitable option for people following a lacto-vegetarian diet.

Where to Buy Babybel Cheese

This cheese is readily available in most national grocery stores, mass retailers like Walmart or Target, and club retailers. So, the next time you’re shopping for groceries, don’t forget to add Babybel cheese to your cart!

Cheesy Ending

This real cheese snack is a simple and awesome choice for your kids to munch on with plenty of nutritional benefits. Whether you’re packing it in lunchboxes, picnics, beach outtings or enjoying it as an on-the-go snack, Babybel is sure to satisfy your cheese cravings.

Just remember to store it correctly and consume it within the recommended timeframe to enjoy its absolute best quality and taste.

Simple Recipes

Here are a few simple and fun recipes using Babybel and other cheeses that Moms and Dads can make for their kids. These could also be used as easy appetizers for your guests during a cocktail party or other gatherings.

  1. Quesadillas:
    • Ingredients: Babybel cheese, tortillas, salsa (optional)
    • Instructions: Place the cheese on a tortilla, fold it in half, and heat in a skillet until the cheese is melted and the tortilla is crispy. Serve with salsa for dipping.
  2. Cheese Pizzas:
    • Ingredients: Babybel cheese, mini pizza crusts or English muffins, pizza sauce, toppings of choice (e.g., pepperoni, veggies)
    • Instructions: Top mini pizza crusts or halved English muffins with pizza sauce, slices of Babybel cheese, and your favorite toppings. Bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  3. Crackers Snack:
    • Ingredients: Babybel cheese, crackers, cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices
    • Instructions: Serve sliced the cheese with crackers, cherry tomatoes, and cucumber slices for a simple and tasty snack for the kiddos.
  4. Apple Sandwiches:
    • Ingredients: Babybel cheese, apple slices, peanut butter (optional)
    • Instructions: Sandwich slices of Babybel between apple slices. For an extra twist, spread peanut butter on one side of the apple slices before adding the cheese.
  5. Veggie Skewers:
    • Ingredients: Babybel cheese, cherry tomatoes, cucumber chunks, bell pepper strips
    • Instructions: Thread Babybel, cherry tomatoes, cucumber chunks, and bell pepper strips onto skewers for a colorful and nice snack or light meal.

More Ideas!

  1. Stuffed Pretzel Bites:
    • Ingredients: Babybel cheese, pretzel dough (store-bought or homemade)
    • Instructions: Flatten small pieces of pretzel dough, place the cheese wheel in the center, and wrap the dough around it. Bake in the air fryer according to the pretzel dough instructions until golden brown. Serve warm.
  2. Ham Roll-Ups:
    • Ingredients: Babybel cheese, sliced ham or turkey, mustard (optional)
    • Instructions: Lay slices of ham or turkey flat, place a Babybel cheese at one end, and roll it up. Secure with a toothpick if necessary. Add a dab of mustard for extra flavor if desired.
  3. Turkey Pinwheels:
    • Ingredients: Babybel cheese, flour tortillas, sliced turkey, spinach leaves
    • Instructions: Lay a flour tortilla flat, layer slices of turkey, Babybel cheese, and spinach leaves on top, then roll it up tightly. Slice into pinwheels and serve.
  4. Fruit Kabobs:
    • Ingredients: Babybel cheese, grapes, pineapple chunks, strawberries
    • Instructions: Thread Babybel cheese, grapes, pineapple chunks, and strawberries onto skewers for a sweet and savory snack that’s perfect for lunchboxes or picnics.

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