Fine dining, Futurist-style

I can’t resist – another excerpt from John Dickie’s history of Italian cuisine, “Delizia!” (see here for the first).

The Taverna del Santopalato was opened in 1931, following the publication of the Manifesto of Futurist Cooking, which aimed, among other things, to abolish pasta. “For the Futurists, pasta was ‘Italy’s absurd gastronomic religion’. It was too weighty and bulky for the speed and dynamism of modern life”.

One of the plates was a proto-Heston Blumenthal multisensory extravaganza called “Aerovictuals: Black olives, fennel hearts and candied bitter orange (on a single plate set down to the diner’s right). Sandpaper, red silk and black velvet (on a rectangular pad to the diner’s left). Wagner (issuing from hidden speakers). Each customer was instructed to bring the food directly to his or her mouth with one hand, while repeatedly stroking the rectangluar pad with the other and having perfume applied to the back of the neck by the head waiter.”

See this article for more details of the wacky dishes.