In 1930 Italian Futurist Filippo Tommasso Marinetti released his Manifesto of Futurist Cookery, declaring pasta obsolete in modern society (including Italy!). He claimed that pasta induced lethargy, pessimism, nostalgia, and neutralism; everything that the Futurist Movement stood against. Manifesto dishes were concocted to produce the most sensual event possible, including flowers, exotic fruits, coffee, raw eggs, and fancy spices. To heighten the dining experience warmed perfumes were misted through the air, and diners were given textural materials like velvet and sandpaper to stroke with their left hand while dining. Sweet, savory, bitter, and sour were combined in startling combinations: pineapple and sardines, mortadella with nougat, roasted salami with coffee and cologne.
He believed that in the future “modern science would allow us to replace food with free, state-sponsored pills composed of albumins, synthetic fats, and vitamins that would lower prices for the consumer and lessen the toll of labor on the worker. Ultraviolet lamps could be used to electrify and thus dynamize food staples.” Marinetti’s culinary concepts never caught on with the Italian populace; after all, they do love their pasta. Some of his Futurist dining elements seem more in line with precepts of today’s molecular gastronomy, while Marinetti’s miracle food pills seem more reminiscent of Soylent Green.
Mick Vann ©