Among the newest culinary trends in Italy is “fingerfood“.
I hear you thinking: What is so new about finger food? Risotto balls (arancini), mini quiches and all sorts of aperitivi, stuzzichini and antipasti meant to be eaten directly using the hands have ‘always’ existed. In many Italian wine bars (enoteche) it is now also very common to offer small tapas-like tidbits to accompany the wine tasting.
New, however, is that the fashion has spread to high gastronomy. The trend comes (once again) from Spain, where the famous gastrobars (that’s how the trendy finger food temples are called there) initiated the new it-food under influence of Ferran Adrià of El Bulli for whom the texture of food has always played as important a role as the visual impact and the taste. The new gastronomic style comes not only in the form of hors-d’oeuvres, but spans the whole meal including main courses and deserts.
Now great Italian chefs, such as Massimiliano Alajamo of the restaurant Le Calandre in Padua, are perfecting the style adding sensory effects to the tasting, asking their clients to savor the food with their hands as much as with their palate while experiencing the various food textures. A way of returning to a simpler form of savoring food, while leaving ample room for new flavors and experiences.