Andrew Coe In the first half of the 20th century, gangsters controlled a large portion of New York City’s food trade. Using threats, stink bombs, and even murder, these criminals managed to control industries as disparate as milk, artichokes, and egg creams. The city’s food rackets peaked during the Great Depression, when citizens could not afford the “gangster tax” added to staples like bread. This lecture will trace the food rackets’ violent rise and fall thanks to a small group of reform politicians and honest lawmen. Independent scholar, Andrew Coe is the author of Chop Suey: A Cultural History of Chinese Food in the United States (Oxford, 2009), “The Egg Cream Rackets” (Gastronomica, 2004), and many other books and articles. He also writes the “Good Bread” column for Serious Eats New York.