First of all, let’s clarify what is meant by ‘Italian sounding food’.
“Italian sounding” is the phenomenon that consists in the use of names, geographical references, images, colours and brands that evoke Italy and some of its most famous typical products. It can concern any kind of product, even if the agri-food sector is the one where it is easier to find it.
Why is this system used? It’s very simple! It is used to promote the trade of products of different kind, leading the consumer to believe that they are authentic Italian products.
In truth, it is a fake ‘Made in Italy’ and these products have little or nothing Italian.
How to recognize and avoid Italian sounding foods?
Labels and packaging are those that make the consumer believe that they are buying an Italian product. Often in the descriptive parts there are adjectives with geographical connotations that refer to well-known Italian places, for example Chianti and Marsala, Bologna and Milan, accompanied by expressions such as “of the type”, “style”, “imitation of”, ” according to tradition”,” according to the typical recipe “and similar ones.
In other cases, the name of the original Italian product is slightly modified, such as Parmesan, which imitates Parmigiano Reggiano, Mozarella or Zottarella, which is sold as buffalo mozzarella, Pomarola sauce and Spagheroni or Makkaroni.
Very often, the manufacturer’s surname of Italian origin is also used as a brand, but now it has nothing Italian, both as regards the tradition and the origin of the raw materials.
Sometimes, the Italian flag, the shape of Italy or the name Italia or Italy is simply inserted in the name of the product, such as ‘Casa Italia’, ‘Good Italy’, etc.
Unfortunately, the phenomenon is widespread in the United States, Canada, Australia, South America and even Europe and the most counterfeit products are cheeses, salami, olive oils, wines and tomato sauces.
So pay close attention, because these fake Italian products penalize Italian manufacturing companies but, above all, they can bring significant risks for the consumer, in terms of food safety, health and well-being. Trust only the original Made in Italy!