Mozzarella, ricotta, burrata and mascarpone. These are some of the names of the Italian cheese varieties mentioned on websites from which so-called “cheese kits” are sold to make counterfeit versions your favorite Italian cheeses.
As in the case of the wine kit, the fraudulent activity is aimed at fooling consumers through names and images that recall Italian food products, but that in reality has nothing whatsoever to do with them. Rather they are mixtures of substances of dubious origin that, with the addition of milk, would supposedly allow for the creation of counterfeit cheese “in the comfort of your own home”.
The anti-counterfeiting wing of the Carabinieri, one of Italy’s four police forces, has opened an investigation of “cheese kit” production and marketing in the UK, USA, Australia and New Zealand, transferring the dossier to INTERPOL.
Importers, distributors and consumers are advised to be cautious of the do-it-yourself cheese boxes, in that as a tool of fraud, there could also be concerns over safety.