Food is an important part of the Mafioso's life. Every meeting had food; every family event had food. Italian food is the mainstay of American cuisine, and the gangsters love it too, whether from their neighborhood eatery, the back of a bar, or from their mother's kitchen. And while most mobsters were very masculine and would never stoop to doing “women's work,” when it came to cooking they were right there stirring the sauce.

It's All Kosher

Growing up in multiethnic neighborhoods, some mobsters took a fancy to the delicacies of other cultures. In The Godfather there is a scene where the family is eating Chinese food. Asian cuisine was popular with mobsters who grew up in Little Italy, which was located right next to Chinatown.

Mobsters in New York were also fond of Jewish food, hearing scams and levying decision over hot pastrami sandwiches and matzo ball soup. In Tampa, mobsters sipped Cuban coffee and ate yellow rice and black beans, while in New Orleans po' boys and crawfish were Cajun-inspired mobsters faves.


A football wedding is a wedding reception where the food is not a fancy catered affair, but rather plates of cold cuts with sub rolls, called footballs. It was one of the most popular ways to celebrate weddings in the more blue-collar, working-class neighborhoods where most of the gangsters grew up. Caviar wouldn't fly at a neighborhood wedding!

Prison stays were also situations where food was important. As depicted in the movie Goodfellas, mobsters sometimes had cells that were different from the accomodations for the general population, and they could get Italian delicacies brought in. Even in tougher conditions, mobsters often bribed guards to bring in salamis and cheese.

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