When is a cheese not what it seems? When it’s a fake parmesan.
Italy’s renowned parmigiano reggiano, favoured for
finishing off bowls of pasta and rocket salads, is one of the
most counterfeited cheeses in the world. Now its manufacturers have found
a new way to hit back against the lookalikes: by adding microchips.
The move is the latest innovation from the Parmigiano Reggiano Consortium (PRC), the association which oversees production, which has been trying for a century
to fight off cheaper imitations that do not follow the
exacting requirements to make the real deal.
The cheese, which can trace its history back to the middle ages,
gained the EU’s prized protected designation of
origin (PDO) status in 1996. Under those rules parmigiano reggiano – the only kind which can be called parmesan within Europe – must be made in a small
part of northern Italy, including in the provinces of Parma and Reggio Emilia.
Cheese and chips
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