As Simon Wroe writes in this month’s issue, food is playing a central role in Italy’s current anti-mafia movement. Here he looks at five key moments in film and literature where gangsters and gastronomy meet.
It’s no secret: the mafia loves to eat. Food appreciation has become part of the mob’s image, an epicurean touch in stark contrast with its bloodier appetites. Writers and directors are particularly fond of this incongruity; food can show the personal side of a killer or lend sophistication to a thug. The following list has some obvious omissions: I did not fugedabout The Sopranos, or the indie film Dinner Rush. While both dedicate substantial screen time to mobsters eating, I don’t think either offers such definitive examples as those below.
The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972)