London, Sep 20 (ANI): Italian food authorities have attacked Tesco's lasagne sandwich, Californian "Chianti" and prosciutto ham from Bulgaria claiming that the fake Italian-sounding products are costing the country billions of pounds each year in lost revenue.
Italian-sounding food that has nothing to do with Italy is worth 26 billion euros (22 billion pounds) in the European Union alone twice the value of the nation's genuine food exports - according to the Italian food producers' association, Federalimentare, reports the Telegraph.
Among the imitation products are polenta from Montenegro, German "salami", Swedish fontina cheese, and "parmesan" from Romania.
Federalimentare reserved particular disdain for the lasagne sandwich, launched by the British supermarket in July, saying that it was not worthy of being associated with the classic baked pasta dish.
The calorie-laden sandwich, which costs 2.50 pounds, consists of a filling of minced beef, pasta sheets and a creamy sauce, enclosed between two thick slices of white bread.
Food manufacturers typically use Italian words, illustrations and the red, white and green of the Italian flag in an apparent suggestion that their products are genuinely Italian, when in fact they can be made in Dagenham or Detroit.
Italy sets great store by its 'Made in Italy" brand, but believes food "piracy" costs the country around 60 billion euros in lost sales worldwide each year. (ANI)