Stories about the mafia and mobsters are as American as apple pie. You can thank director Martin Scorsese and author Nicholas Pileggi for that. Some of the best American movies of the last 50 years include GoodfellasCasino, and other epics that detail the complex, violent, and interconnected lives of men connected to America's organized crime syndicate.

Inevitably, however, there are hundreds, even thousands, of stories of this ilk that don't get the Hollywood treatment. Now, after a nearly five-year-long prison stint, former mobster Frankie "Spice" Morelli is telling his story via a uniting force amongst all humans: food. Morelli is one of the three authors of MOBB: Cookbook & Diet, an expansive Italian culinary and lifestyle book he wrote by hand while incarcerated.

Morelli was kind enough to chat with me on the phone for a few minutes. We discussed everything from the makeup of this unique book, the stories it tells, and his stint in prison. Following an entrepreneurial venture with his pasta company, Morelli got involved with stocks, which is where he landed into trouble:

I was at Philadelphia for 38 months, which is a maximum security facility. Then I was at Camp Englewood for about a year, so I was incarcerated for a little less than five years. Then, I finally got home confinement under the Second Chance Act that Donald Trump passed. - Frankie "Spice" Morelli

During his time in prison, Morelli met other former gangsters of various affiliations, and quickly became ingratiated. After writing pages of his cookbook by hand, he'd get other prisoners to use their "library time" to type up the pages and print them out. Upon his release, he linked up with Dr. Sandra Frank, Ed.D, RDN, FAND and James "The Raptor" John, therein forming an unlikely trifecta of individuals who created the "MOBB" diet.

"Our MOBB," as it's known, stands for "Mercy and Optimism Beyond Borders." Per Our MOBB's official website, the dietary and lifestyle is predicated on "expanding interaction and loyalty outside of organized crime to build trust, self-fulfillment, and success with individuals around the world who are looking for a place to belong."

More than just a cookbook, Morelli's opus includes stories from behind bars, coping mechanisms he used when working without inmates as a "suicide companion," exercise tips, and more. Morelli described it to me as a "coffee table book," that's large yet super easy-to-read, engrossing, and unlike any cookbook that's been written to date.

Learn more about Frankie "Spice" Morelli and MOBB: Cookbook & Diet on Our MOBB's official website. Also, take a listen to my interview with Morelli below!

attachment-!Radio Interview Banner

Photos: Dubuque Farmers Market 2023

Take a trip through the Dubuque's Farmers Market

Gallery Credit: Tom Ehlers

More From 104-5 KDAT