Citrus fruit, The East India Company and the Sicilian Mafia
Now citrus trees had been brought to Sicily by the invaders from North Africa in the 11th century. They set up complex irrigation systems, including underground tunnels called Qanats that collected every available drop of water, irrigating nearly all year around. With the additional benefit of mild and constant temperatures and a rich volcanic soil, Sicily became a leading player in the citrus fruits market, with the Palermo barons growing wealthy, selling the fruit to sailors in the Mediterranean.
This was the start of the Sicilian Mafia, or Cosa Nostra.
The rest is history. At its harmless origin - simply the demand for lemons and oranges to allow sailors of the 17th and 18th centuries to traverse the world and focus on commerce, instead of sickness and death.