The world of Italian cheese has been rocked by controversy as a Chinese company has been caught selling a mozzarella cheese product that it claims is “European,” complete with packaging featuring an image of the iconic Leaning Tower of Pisa. However, this claim has been met with outrage and calls of “fake” from Italian politicians and food industry experts.
The company, Gaofu Pufu, has been selling the cheese in Austria, with the packaging featuring a mixture of English and Chinese labeling, including the words “European Mozzarella Cheese.” The packaging also features an image of the Leaning Tower of Pisa and gondolas, which experts say suggests a Venetian influence.
However, the authenticity of the product has been called into question, with Italian politicians and industry experts claiming that the use of Italian imagery is misleading and undermines the reputation of genuine Italian food products. Tommaso Rizzini, a member of the Italian political party, Italia Viva, took to Facebook to express his anger, stating that the use of Italian landmarks on packaging for suspicious products is a “serious problem.”
The Italian food industry has also expressed its frustration with the product, with one food expert association labeling the Chinese-made mozzarella cheese as a “fake” that imitates the original Italian product. They have also called on consumers to be wary and be able to distinguish between genuine Italian products and imitations.
This is not the first time that Chinese-made products have been accused of imitating genuine Italian products. The controversy highlights the ongoing issue of food fraud and the importance of preserving the authenticity and reputation of genuine Italian food products.
The Gaofu Pufu controversy serves as a reminder that while imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, when it comes to the world of Italian cuisine, authenticity is everything.