I am sure that most people have seen BabyBel, the packs of tiny red wheels of cheese (looking rather like tiny red hockey pucks!) on the supermarket shelves, I also fancy that most of you have thought of these cheeses as being mainly a children’s snack – or as something for the kid’s lunch boxes! Well of course they ARE perfect for children and for their packed lunches, but they are also a great snack for all of us adults too!
The BabyBel mini cheeses have actually been around for thirty years and are manufactured by Fromageries Bel in Évron, in the northwest of France.
As you are no doubt aware this product is actually a small round of Edam cheese wrapped in the traditional thick red wax covering we are so used to seeing Edam in; each disc of cheese is individually wrapped.
Personally I think that it is the unique packaging of these cheeses that has made them so popular – with both children and adults alike.The fact that each wheel of cheese is individually wrapped in wax means that the flavour is locked ensuring that you get a fresh delicious, enjoyable cheese each time you open them.Each 3/4 ounce Mini Babybel encased in its protective wax jacket comes in packs of 6 or 12 in a white plastic net. After taking off the paper covering the fun part of opening the cheese begins, I always feel like a big kid when I get to this stage!On the wax is a little strip which pulls away from the wax allowing you to open the wax like a hinge leaving the soft, creamy, mild, delicious cheese on view, and I have to admit that it is not only children who then love to play with the wax – rolling and moulding it !
Nutritionally the cheeses are great, they contain 100% natural cheese with no added preservatives and so are excellent forms of calcium and as each piece contains only 61 calories and is free from added preservatives, colours and flavours you can eat it as a snack or put it in a child’s packed lunch box without feeling any guilt!
Taste wise the cheese is really very good, it is mild but with just a touch of sharpness and just the right amount of salt to give it a good rounded flavour; the texture is creamy and quite dense all in all a very appetising cheese, and perfect for younger appetites.
What you may not be aware of is that these cheeses are also available in a Cheddar variety (wrapped in purple wax), an Emmental variety (known as Swiss in Canada and the U.S.) in yellow wax, Gouda (wrapped in gold wax) or a goat’s cheese variety that comes in green wax.
The use of these cheese snacks are varied – their individual packaging makes them a perfect choice of packed lunches or picnic but they are equally at home scattered around a cheese board, making perfect size portions for the diner.
Price wise the cheeses are around £2.00 for a pack of 12 which to me seems a reasonable price to know that I have a decent and healthy snack always available in the refrigerator.