"The best can sell for $50-a-gallon...but a fake costs just seven dollars to make," Mueller said. "The profit margin can be three times better than cocaine."
To counteract the mob muscle, Italy has set up a task force of more than 60 police officers tasked with taste-testing olive oil -- yes, cops getting paid to eat something other than donuts -- with the sole mission of sussing out fake foods.
Beyond just diluting your EVOO, however, mobsters are placing fake labels on swill red wines. For example, in 2014, cops intercepted 30,000 bottles of table red that was going to be labeled as high-end Brunello Di Montalcino -- which would have fetched $5 million.
How to know if your favorite Italian foods are legit? There's no sure-fire way. As the Daily Beast article suggests, your food and drink should pass the smell test. But unless you're a trained expert, chances are, you won't be able to tell the difference.
Perhaps ignorance, when it comes to food, really is bliss.
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