As our friends on the Thanksgiving-celebrating side of the pond sidle in at the sides of symbolically-loaded tables, let’s take a moment to reflect on the dictates of one forward-thinking man who decried traditional ways of wining and dining.
Filippo Tommaso Marinetti penned La Cucina Italiana in 1932. A half-joking cookbook for Futurists and the future itself, it made the perfectly wacko accompaniment to his more famous foundational manifesto of 1909. Safe to say, there’s not much al pomodoro, al fresco or even al dente
It’s well known that Marinetti loathed pasta, for it makes the common people who eat it ‘develop that typical ironic and sentimental skepticism which can often cut short their enthusiasm.’
The big bright Future required much enthusiasm; for speed, steam, sparks, steel and use of all the senses. Tortellini renders one sappy and slothful, only a Futurist meal can elevate the human spirit to the appropriate stratospheres. But that was no mean feat — just check out his eleven commandments for orchestrating and preparing such an affair.
One perfect meal requires:
For recipes illuminating goodies like the aforementioned Sculpted Meat, and others like Milk in a Green Light and Italian Breasts in the Sunshine, or for further reminders why fascist affinities don’t mix well with haute cuisine, or anything at all for that matter, I recommend picking up a copy of Marinetti’s La Cucina Italiana.
Though it’s hard to imagine stomaching a gooey ramekin full of pineapple, sardine and nougat compote, the text is sure to prompt a mini-examination of what forces prompt our own industrialised eating habits. It might also have you hankering for a plain old boiled potato, un-atomised and un-fumigated with orange flower water.
Source: Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, The Futurist Cookbook, edited by Leslie Chamberlain, translated by Susan Brill, London: Penguin Books, Limited, 2014