the top ten of fake Made in Italy in the world is worth 100 billion euros

Due to the “italian sounding” – or the use of words, symbols or colors that evoke Italy to market non-Made in Italy products – more than two out of three tricolor agri-food products are false, without any productive or employment link with Italy. The consequences for our country are evident: according to Coldiretti, the fight against the fake Made in Italy could well be created 300 thousand jobs.

The most imitated product absolutely is the mozzarella. To produce the imitations of the fresh cheese symbol of Italian cuisine are mainly the United States: about 2 billion kilos are produced here every year, twenty times the total volume of exports of real Italian mozzarella in the world. But the imitations of our “white gold” can be found – explains Coldiretti – almost everywhere, from Brazil to Argentina, from Thailand to Sri Lanka, from Denmark to Eastern countries such as Slovenia, Hungary and Romania, up to Germany “Zottarella”. Also in Russia, as a result of the embargo on European products decided by Putin, a flourishing industry of Made in Italy “tarocco” was born, in which the production of mozzarella is the one to excel.

The ranking continues with other cheeses. In second place among the most imitated products are two classics such as the Parmesan Cheese and the Grana Padano. There is an infinite series of variations that in the world try to pass themselves off as Made in Italy: Parmesan, Parmesao or Reggianito – just to name a few. In third and fourth position – continues Coldiretti – there are fakes like Provolone and Pecorino Romano, widespread especially in America, from the USA to Argentina.

In the middle of the top ten instead, there is the salame which, depending on the tarot countries, is called in the most bizarre ways. They range from Calabrese salami to Tuscan salami, but there are also Florence, Milan, Genoa, Fiuliano, Naples and even an unlikely Bolzano salami, as well as Casalingo.

Al sixth place there is Mortadella. The Germans are the main counterfeiters, even if the typical Emilian salami also finds counterfeiters in Brazil, Argentina, Hungary, Spain (with their Sicilian Mortadela). To copy the typical salami is even the Qatar, where versions made with beef and chicken are produced, to respect the Muslim ban on pork consumption.

Even the sauces and “Italian style” pastes represent an important slice of the fake Made in Italy market. These represent the seventh place of the top ten, thanks above all to the French, Belgians and English, but also to the Americans: they range from San Marzano sauce stars and stripes with Bolognese sauce, non-existent in Italian cuisine but very popular in Italian restaurants abroad paired with spaghetti.

“Taroccate” even the drinks – In the next places in the “ranking of horrors at the table” there is no shortage of wines, starting with the most exported abroad, the Prosecco, in eighth place due to imitations such as the German Meer-Secco, the Kressecco, the Semisecco, the Consecco and the Perisecco. Then there is also the Austrian Whitesecco, the Russian Prosecco and the Crisecco della Moldova, while in Brazil in the Rio Grande area various producers claim the right to continue to use the prosecco appellation as part of the agreement between the European Union and the countries of Mercosur. A situation destined to worsen, however, if the EU were to give the green light to the recognition of the Croatian Prosek.


Imitations flock also for the Chianti, from the Californian one to the wine kit to prepare it yourself using from powders and stills. The creators of these disturbing packages are mainly the USA and Canada, but they are also found in Great Britain. At the tenth and last place of the ranking we find the unlikely but widespread imitations of the pesto sauce, which can be found both in Germany and in the United States with Spicy Thai Pesto, and even in South Africa where there is Basil Pesto.

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