California Italian Studies
The Politics of Pasta: La cucina futurista and the Italian Cookbook in History
- Author(s): Callegari, Danielle
- et al.
In 1932 the Italian Futurist Filippo Tommaso Marinetti published La cucina futurista, provoking the public with his "crusade against pasta" and promise to expand minds and publics with his wildly unusual recipes. Though Marinetti's debt to past cookbooks has been acknowledged, most modern readers have characterized the text as a successful but minor example of a late Futurist avant-garde foray into the sober and codified world of nineteenth century cooking. Yet from its inception, the Italian cookbok has in fact figured itself as a nuanced and potent political tool, used first in the early modern Italian court to instigate movement up the hierarchy, and later as the peninsula tried to become a cohesive whole after the Risorgimento. This article explores Marinetti's cookbook in light of the more complex historical tradition and political valences of the genre, demonstrating the serious intentions of the apparently insubstantial text.