Fake Mozzarella and Parmesan Made at Home with Cheese Kits

Fri, 10/25/2013 - 05:00

Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese made quickly at home and with milk powder.

Kits that promise to deliver some of the most famous Italian cheeses are currently being sold in the U.K., U.S., and Australia and can also be purchased online.

It is yet another case of fake Made in Italy, exposed by the farmers' association Coldiretti at a recent agriculture and food forum held at Cernobbio on Lake Como.

The kits make mozzarella in just 30 minutes and Parmesan in two months (it is enough to mention that the minimum aging time for Parmesan is at least 12 months and that it can only be produced in one area of the world, the Emilia region of Italy). Parmesan or Pecorino Romano kits are sold in the U.K for £102, while the one for mozzarella costs £25;  in the U.S., a 30-minute mozzarella kit is sold for $24.95.

The episode comes only a few weeks after fake Parmesan, Asiago, and Pecorino cheeses were seized at a major international food fair in Germany, as ITALY Magazine reported.

Coldiretti has called for the immediate intervention of authorities to stop the sales and find a way to avoid what happened with the wine kits, on sale in the U.K. to make famous Italian wines like Chianti, Lambrusco and others. To bypass the restrictions, Britsh producers of the kits simply changed the names: Barolo has become “Barollo”, Brunello di Montalcino “Monticino”, “Valpolicella” is “Vinoncella”, and Chianti “Cantia”.

Such incidents cause not only an economic damage, but also a credibility damage against generations of Italian cheese-makers and farmers who follow rigorous production techniques and use only select ingredients to deliver products that have become a symbol of the Made in Italy.