High on the Italian shoplifter’s list: Parmesan cheese

3rd October 2008, Comments 0 comments

During 2006-2007, one in 10 Parmesan products vanished from the shelves of Italian supermarkets without being paid for.

Rome -- "A pinch of Parmesan" has taken on a different connotation in Italy where the famous cheese is the food product most targeted by shoplifters in supermarkets.

During 2006-2007, one in 10 Parmesan products vanished from the shelves of Italian supermarkets without being paid for, a group representing Italian producers of agricultural products said Thursday.

The figure marked an 11 percent increase over the previous year, the group, CIA, said.

Parmesan is the third product, out of any category, most prone to shoplifting in Italy. Razor blades -- of which 22 percent are stolen -- followed by printer ink cartridges with 15 percent topped the list.

Often grated and sprinkled over pasta, Parmesan is also the most counterfeited Italian food product, with imitations bearing false labels being passed of for the real thing, especially in Argentina, Brazil, Japan, Britain and Germany, CIA said.

The hard granular cheese, in its authentic and highly aromatic version -- it must be produced with raw cow's milk and aged for 12 months -- qualifies for the Parmigiano-Reggiano DOP or IGP certificate attesting to its origin from Parma and Reggio Emilia in northern Italy.

DPA/Expatica

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