The cheese ‘Made in Wisconsin' was chosen among 1360 samples
Rome - The blatant Parmigiano Reggiano imitation is called 'Sarvecchio Parmesan', is produced by American Sartori Food Corporation in Wisconsin and was elected by a jury of 24 persons choosing, among 1360 samplings, the best cheese of the United States.
The news was reported with undisguised amazement by Coldiretti (the Italian Farmers Union), which underlines the scandalous faking of the original cheese. But it's not enough, in fact, another hard cheese, made with goat's milk in Oregon, came second, whose name "Classico" clearly recalls the Italian tradition, while a typical American cheese, a cheddar produced by Pat Whalen of a Châteaugay McCadam Cheese, New York has won only the third prize.
The American Parmesan - explains Coldiretti - is just the tip of the iceberg of a widespread phenomenon throughout the world. There is also the ‘Romano' produced in Illinois from cow's milk instead of sheep; the ‘Parma' sold in Spain without any respect for the rules of the specifications of Parmigiano Reggiano Consortium; the Danish and Swedish Fontina very different from that of the Val d'Aosta, the U.S. Asiago and Gorgonzola or the German Cambozola, a pale imitation of the ‘cheese with the milk drop' but also the "pecorino" ‘Made in China' with cow's milk.
Unfortunately imitations of ‘Made in Italy' food do not concern only cheeses but also salami, wines, seasonings, pasta and Coldiretti estimated that in the world, about two Italian dishes out of three are prepared with non-original ingredients that develop a turnover of more than 50 billion. The countries where the imitations are more successful are the U.S., Australia and New Zealand but what worries the most is the trend in emerging countries like China where the ‘Made in Italy' imitations arrived prior to the original and are likely to affect growth.
The foreign market penetration of low quality imitations as well as directly affect the Italian entrepreneurs, severely damages the image of ‘Made in Italy', both on traditional and on emerging markets. Worldwide - concludes Coldiretti - the fight against the food pirates that falsify the territorial identity of products should be carried out under the WTO, with the aim of extending the protection of geographical indications, like it is for wines and spirits, also to other products such as cheeses and salumi.