Underworld figure Domenic Gatto lashed out yesterday after a Melbourne newspaper published rumours that he was a delicious custard-filled cake, possibly topped with nuts or fruit.
"This is no trifle," Mr Gatto told Sterne. "These allegations have left me in a flummery. First it was claimed that I was some kind of zabaglione man for the mob, now they're saying I'm a fuck*** cake! It really is a load of crepe."
Mr Gatto claimed that the media was undermining the justice system by refusing to give him a second chance.
"I may come from the wrong side of the dessert buffet, but I'm straight now and just trying to put some bread and butter pudding on the table. This kind of gossip is nothing less than torte-ture for my whole family. Frankly, it gives me sticky buns just thinking about it."
John Truckinghoff, editor of the Kitchener St. Moustache, the newspaper that first printed the rumour, defended his decision to publish on the grounds that Mr Gatto's possible manifestation as a sweet delight was "a matter of public interest".
"We're not saying Domenic Gatto is this or Domenic Gatto is that. All we're saying is that he might be a French dessert. I understand the sensitivity of Mr Gatto's situation, but those of us who enjoy a slice of cake with their cafe au lait have the right to know if there is even the slightest chance that they might be partaking of a Melbourne underworld figure."
Mr Truckinghoff denied that the Gatto rumours were based on a simple pun.
"Only the lowest of media outlets would build a story around puns. I'm no flan of that kind of journalism. It's gratin on my nerves that we would even be accused of frittering away our credibility by indulging in such a blatant attempt to truffle feathers."