I was reading a really interesting article the other day about Filippo Marinetti, the leader of the Futurist movement group in Italy, 1930. I didn’t know about this and maybe you don’t either. He was not only an eccentric designer with a lot of amazing ideas, but he also thought that he had to improve the Italian cuisine at that time. His aim was to make food into an extremely interesting experience of colours, flavours and sensations. He wrote the Manifesto of Futurist Cooking, where he made some bold suggestions, such as:
– No more pasta, as it causes lassitude, pessimism and lack of passion. Marinetti wanted to prepare the Italians for war, as he was a Fascist. “Spaghetti is no food for fighters,” he declared.
– Perfect meals requiring originality and harmony in table setting, including all implements, food aesthetics and tastes, and absolute originality in the food
– Sculpted foods, including meats whose main appeal is to the eye and imagination
– Abolition of the knife and fork
– Some food on the table would not be eaten, but only experienced by the eyes and nose
– The diners would eat in a mock aircraft, whose engines’ vibrations would stimulate the appetite. The tilted seats and tables would “shake out” the diners’ pre-conceived notions, while their taste buds would be overwhelmed by highly original dishes listed on aluminium cards.
– Traditional kitchen equipment would be replaced by scientific equipment, bringing modernity and science to the kitchen.
They have the most strange dishes with weird combinations like mortadella with nougat or pineapples with sardines. Marinetti wanted Italians to stop eating foreign food and to stop using foreign food words.
One Futurist dessert, called Italian Breasts in the Sunshine, features almond paste topped with a strawberry, then sprinkled with fresh black pepper. This is one of the few palatable dishes in Marinetti’s Futurist Cookbook.
Another exotic idea was the Tactile Dinner. As the guests arrive, each puts on a pair of pajamas. Once all have arrived and are dressed in pajamas, they are taken to an unlit, empty room. Without being able to see, each guest chooses a dinner partner according to their tactile impression.