And finally… culinary crimes

The biggest farmers’ association in Italy has condemned the use of mafia terms to sell food and drink around the world – including a machine gun-shaped bottle of whisky produced here in Scotland.

Coldiretti found that some 300 restaurants are mafia-themed, among them El Padrino in Spain, Don Corleone in Finland, Burger Mafia in Germany, as well as Falafel Mafia in the US and Nasi Goreng Mafia in Indonesia.

But the most shocking discovery was the Tommy Gun-shaped whisky called Cosa Nostra Shot, said Alessandro Apolito, a branch manager at Coldiretti.

“It’s scandalous to think that somebody could buy something of this kind, even if it’s only for a joke,” said Apolito. “For us, joking about such serious things like the mafia is unacceptable.”

Coldiretti held an exhibition last month in Palermo in Sicily, where the Cosa Nostra mafia organisation originated, showcasing some of the controversial food and drink from around the world.

Apolito added: “Continuing to associate Italy with these mafia stereotypes and criminality is hugely damaging to the country’s image.”

“But the most significant issue is that it is an offence to the victims of the mafia as hundreds of innocent people have been killed by the mafia or suffer from its criminality. 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.”

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