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Tips for choosing authentic Italian products

Overview

Published: 08/05/2015

by David Ferrer

It's likely that your neighbourhood supermarket carries many of these imitation Italian products. So, if getting the real deal is important to you, remember these four points next time you're at the store. For more information and shopping tips, visit www.italianmade.com.

Italian gastronomy is one of the most beloved cuisines, but can you actually tell if the fine bottle of vino you are enjoying with your delicious trenette al pesto is truly made in Italy or just an Italian-sounding copycat? 

By choosing certified authentic Italian products, you ensure you are getting high-quality ingredients that follow strict production standards. The Italian Trade Commission recommends asking yourself these four questions to identify the real stuff from the imitators next time you are at the supermarket:

Is it certified?

Be on the lookout for one of these labels: DOP (Protected Designation of Origin) or, IGP (Protected Geographical Indication). These certifications are awarded to food and wine that derive their properties and qualities from their geographical origin and method of production. It is one of the easiest ways to spot authentic Italian products.

Where does it come from?

Certain ingredients must come from a specific region of Italy to be certified. Traditional Balsamic vinegar of Modena must have a seal of quality, as it can only be produced in Modena. Although pasta can be made all around, look for IGP-certified product and, if you're still unsure, check the label for the words “product of Italy”.

Is it distributed or “packed in”?

Be wary of wording. Check the label as copycat brands often use the words “distributed” and “packed in” but foreign products are still packaged and distributed in Italy.

What brand is this?

Don't be fooled by sneaky packaging. Many of these non-genuine Italian foodstuffs will often try to trick you by placing Italian flags or Italian-sounding names on their products (ex: Parmigiano-Reggiano vs. parmesan). If you are still unsure of the origin of the product, a quick search online should help clarify.

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