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Tags: mafia | mafioso | italian restaurants | italy

Italian Farmers Seek to Knock Out Mafia Food, Drink Gimmicks

godfather's pizza restaurant

By    |   Monday, 26 December 2022 02:58 PM EST

Italian farmers are looking to phase out food businesses worldwide that try to advertise with Mafioso gimmicks.

Products such as Scottish Cosa Nostra Shot whisky, sold in Tommy-gun shaped bottles, Germany's Don Marco's Mafia Coffee Rub barbecue seasoning, and the Don Corleone restaurant in Finland are on the hit list by Coldiretti, Italy's largest agricultural trade group.

"Using and evoking the name of organized crime for marketing purposes cannot be accepted," Coldiretti President Ettore Prandini told the Guardian. "There is economic damage to our agri-food sector, but also damage to the victims of the underworld."

Early in December, the organization went to Palermo, Sicily, the birthplace of the Italian Mafia, to exhibit some of the items it found during an investigation that turned up nearly 300 eateries outside of Italy.

The most mob-themed restaurants were found in Spain with 63, followed by Ukraine, Brazil and Indonesia.

New York City is home to "Five Families" and "Chicago Outfit," which was established by the late mob boss Al Capone. There is also the Godfather's Pizza chain, whose slogan is, "A pizza you can't refuse."

In New Jersey, there are a few as well, including Bada Bean Cawfee company, paying tribute to the Bada Bing strip club featured in HBO's "The Sopranos."

In Hilliard, Ohio, there's The Meatball Mafia that sells dishes such as the Wartime Consigliere sub and the Standup Guy white pizza.

Coldiretti branch manager Alessandro Apolito said: "These Mafia stereotypes and criminality is hugely damaging to the country's image. ... In Palermo, especially, there was a strong sense of indignation over this absurd marketing. There are millions of Sicilians who are honest and respect the laws but who are victims of this criminal plague."

Coldiretti said much of its products were being disguised as coming from Italy and were being sold past expiration dates.

"Very often, they use an Italian flag on an out-of-date product," Apolito said. "Not only do these products take away space on shelves from genuine Italian products, but it's a huge economic cost to our food industry."

The European Union has "protected designation of origin rules," allowing counterfeit items to be removed from being sold. According to the Guardian, it has not done anything to prevent companies from exploiting the Mafia game for money.

"We need to reach an agreement at the European level to ensure that this can no longer happen," Prandini said.

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Italian farmers are looking to phase out food businesses worldwide that try to advertise with Mafioso gimmicks.
mafia, mafioso, italian restaurants, italy
Monday, 26 December 2022 02:58 PM
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