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Cooking In Prison: 8 Innovative Jailhouse Culinary Creations

First Posted: 07/20/10 02:22 PM ET   Updated: 05/25/11 06:05 PM ET

Books could be filled with the innovative culinary creations the incarcerated across the world have devised to nourish themselves in a manner far superior to their supplied prison meals. These techniques can also help inmates pass the time and keep them focused on something outside of the normal prison routine. We've omitted Pruno, aka prison wine, as the main idea there is intoxication rather than taste (recipes for that are available elsewhere), but what follows are are eight jailhouse culinary creations that have caught our attention and suggest what's possible behind bars, armed with only, say, a bag of Fritos and some water.

Bernie Madoff's Prisonmate Carmine Persico's Spaghetti & Clam Sauce
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Don't worry, everyone! Infamous Ponzi-schemer Bernie Madoff is eating as well as possible in jail. A recent New York Magazine article describes what Madoff's life in a North Carolina federal correctional complex is like. And, while it's not clear that Madoff, himself, ever got too creative with the jailhouse rations, the article describes what fellow prisoner Carmine Persico, a former mob boss, whipped up for Madoff and Co. As the article reports:

Persico also liked to use a microwave to cook for himself and his friends. “Carmine made the best spaghetti and white clam sauce I ever had,” says Conza, who was Persico’s cellmate for about a year. “He was an unbelievable microwave chef.” Inmates buy the basics from the commissary, then add vegetables stolen from the kitchen—an onion costs five stamps.

(Photo from Flickr: SpecialKRB)

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Filed by Colin Sterling  |