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Food

Mafia Tomato Sauce Wars? L.A. Man & Family Descendants Claim Al Capone's Original Recipe

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In one corner is Chicago-based Dominic Capone III, the great nephew of famous mafioso Al Capone. In the other corner is Robert Castine, the Los Angeles-based owner of a company that runs Al Capone Spaghetti Sauce And Meatballs. Who is selling the recipe that is closest to the one Al Capone loved? That's up for debate, finds consumer finance blog WalletPop.

Dominic runs Capone Family Secret and his website says the pasta sauce recipes were consistently found every time law enforcement authorities raided a Capone warehouse. That's 137 raids, they say. "There was only a few items found on every single raid and it was not alcohol. It was the recipes of the 'Capone Family Secret' pasta sauces. Of course this was never made public; it remained confidential for the last 80+ years."

As for Castine's recipe, his website claims: "This is the real thing! This recipe came to us directly from the daughter of Al Capone's personal cook and housekeeper (her father was Al's handyman and gardener).... We're 100 percent confident of this recipe's provenance, there's just no room for doubt that it's anything but 'The One and Only Al Capone's favorite Spaghetti Sauce and Meatballs Recipe.' And so we've obtained a legal affidavit stating the provenance and our source for the recipe."

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For history buffs, the accuracy of the claims is of upmost importance. For consumers, however, it's going to come down to taste. WalletPop only tried Dominic's recipe and said it was "not for the faint of palate. The classic marinara variety I tried is on the peppery side, and liberally dosed with garlic. If it's actually the recipe Scarface favored, you can bet that a few spoonfuls gave him killer bad breath ... which seems fitting given his 'profession.'"