The Independent

Producers of Italy’s famed Parmigiano Reggiano are to take to the streets in protest against the crop of third-rate imposters that are cashing in on its illustrious name.

They will gather in Bologna to promote the virtues of rich, nutty Parmigiano, as well as its rival Grana Padano and other products such as tangy, white squacquerone from the surrounding Emilia Romagna region, Italy’s cheese belt. The protesters will also name a rogues gallery of bogus overseas products which have, says the Coldiretti agricultural association, “done more damage to the local economy than the financial crisis or the earthquake that struck there three years ago”.

British companies selling “Grated Parmesan” are among the culprits to be named and shamed. “Parmesao,” sold in Brazil, “Reggianito” on sale in Argentina, and “Grande Parmesan” in the US are also unfortunate examples of how Parmigiano has become the most imitated Italian cheese, Coldiretti said. According to the local edition of Corriere Della Sera, the fake Parmigiano loved by the Americans had “a taste light years away from that made in Emilia Romagna”.

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