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But pizzerias were not just a reliable way of laundering the proceeds of crime. The broad appeal and long reach of pizza delivery also meant that there was a pre-existing distribution network that could be used for drug trafficking. There was also a distribution network already set up because of pizza deliveries," according to Nicaso. It was a very creative way to deal with heroin and money laundering, with the legitimate business as a cover.

Eventually they practically had the monopoly on heroin in North America, thanks to relationships that they had in Canada, and the Pizza Connection even extended to Windsor, Ontario. Despite the best efforts of the FBI, the Pizza Connection trial case did little to curb America's appetite for heroin—or pizza, for that matter.

Italian mafia symbols

Less than a decade later, Famous Original Ray's Pizza on Third Avenue near 43d Street was found to be "the headquarters for a major drug ring" and in cahoots with Brooklyn butcher shop and cafe who moved "tens of millions of dollars" worth of cocaine and heroin across New York, according to federal authorities. But for mobsters, the appeal of pizzerias goes beyond mere laundering money and drug trafficking. Not long after the arrest of "Johnny Pizza" in , the Village Voice , citing the late crime writer Jonathan Kwinty's book Vicious Circles: The Mafia in the Marketplace , suggested that a certain Capone might have had as much of a culinary influence on New York cuisine as a Batali or a Chang.

In his book, Kwinty recounts how Prohibition-era kingpin Al Capone would have intimidated New York pizzeria owners into buying meltier, low-moisture cheese from farms that he owned near Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, instead of the "real" mozzarella being produced New York's, and specifically Brooklyn's, Neapolitan residents.

Those who didn't buy the Midwest cheese were firebombed, or so mob lore goes. Out of respect for New York landmarks like Lombardi's, Patsy's, and John's, Capone's Chicago syndicate would have allowed some landmark pizzerias to continue using authentic moozadell , as long as they vowed to never sell pizza by the slice. John's Pizzeria on Bleecker Street. Photo via Flickr user MsSaraKelly. Wiener is the owner of Scott's Pizza Tours, pizza historian, a Guinness Record holder for world's largest collection of pizza boxes, and completely obsessed with pizza. Wiener has even read Kwinty's book and corroborated most what he wrote.

Grande cheese is still around, but it's not mob-affiliated anymore. But back in the day, Grande wasn't afraid to use a very specific kind of sales pitch, Wiener says. Still, Weiner isn't buying the "No Slices" racket myth.

Made Men: Mafia Culture and the Power of Symbols, Rituals, and Myth

But a lot of those places, like John's, use low-moisture cheese. It doesn't really make any sense. The reason that most of these places don't sell slices is that they use a coal-fired oven, which would just burn any slice you were trying to re-heat. According to the latest report by Legambiente , which monitors food crimes, they found that criminal organizations are more and more involved in the so-called ' agro-mafia.

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Italian mafia symbols

Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Made Men by Antonio Nicaso. The novel The Godfather and the movie of the same name entrenched the myth of the Mafiosi as valiant knights, men of honor, and defenders of the traditional concept of family. As a result of this movie and other popular portrayals, the image of mobsters as "men of honor and tradition" has become iconic throughout America.

Yet the truth of the matter belies th The novel The Godfather and the movie of the same name entrenched the myth of the Mafiosi as valiant knights, men of honor, and defenders of the traditional concept of family. Yet the truth of the matter belies this more noble image. The Mafia is a ruthless organization. Their concept of family is a twisted one.

But viewed through the lens of popular culture, it is often difficult to separate the fiction from the reality. Made Men demystifies this image by dismantling the code of honor that Mafiosi live by, including its attendant symbols, rituals, and the lifestyle that it demands. Since the end of World War II, the Mafia in Italy and America has undergone major changes, which are charted by the authors through the present day. Nicaso and Danesi also consider all kinds of related organizations, not only the Italian ones, including the Yakuza, the Triads, and the Russian Mafia.

The authors look at organized criminal culture in general, attempting to explain why its symbols, rituals, and practices continue to draw people in, both as literal members, or as consumers of the pop culture that glorifies them. This story traces and decodes the origins, history and success of the mafia in the U. Get A Copy.

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More filters. Sort order. Mar 14, amanda rated it liked it Shelves: , true-crime , untitled-fantasy-research. Aug 31, Erichyde rated it it was ok. So dull. This is what happens when someone tries to write a book based on the images of something like organized crime just by using movies. Klaus rated it liked it Apr 04, Mindy Pollock rated it liked it Aug 26, Rickie Skidmore rated it really liked it Oct 16, Taylor Aitken rated it really liked it Sep 13, Kourosh Afrashteh rated it liked it Sep 18, Mirabelle rated it liked it Nov 26,