A Restaurant in Italy Serves “Fried Air” to Their Customers
A Michelin Star restaurant called Feva, in northern Italy, serves its customers ”Fried Air” or ‘Aria Fritta’ as the dish is called. It is designed to give the diners a feeling of inhaling fresh air, creating an outdoor feel, but through gastronomy. This one-of-a-kind dessert has created a stir in the culinary world and focused a lot of attention on the centuries-old, quaint town of Castelfranco Veneto.
But is ”Fried Air” really fried air? How does it taste? How has the chef managed to create a dish out of it? Let us find out if the name is misleading or if this Italian restaurant has really created something befitting the best cookbooks in the world.
How is “Fried Air” made and served?
The dessert is actually deep-fried tapioca skin infused with ozone gas and served to the guests on cotton candy shaped like a cloud. Sounds dreamy? It sure looks like it.
The tapioca skin is first boiled, and mixed with water to make a batter. Then it is baked in the oven, and deep-fried until it becomes light and crispy balls. The excess oil from these tapioca balls is then, very carefully and thoroughly removed. Then they are suffused with very low levels of ozone for about 10 minutes. The ozone infusion gives these balls a very special, aromatic flavor, almost like inhaling fresh, pure air!
After this, they are sprinkled with blue salt to make their look and feel resemble shades of blue sky. Finally, the ”Fried Air” is placed on a cotton candy bed that further inspires a cloud-like texture and feel. As an accompaniment, it is served with vegan sesame seeds and mayo speckled with chia seeds. When the dish is served on the table, quince vinegar is sprayed over the ”Fried Air” in front of the guests, which immediately gives the dish a frying effect because of the reaction between vinegar and sugar.
There was a lot of stir on social media as people wrote that the restaurant was charging $30 for the ”Fried Air”, but that is not true. The dish is currently free of cost and served to the guests as a surprise, complimentary starter. After all, who pays for air?
About owner-chef Nicola Dinato, the man behind the “Fried Air”
Chef Nicola Dinato is a Michelin Star chef with 20 years of experience in the gastronomical world – with a “classic contemporary” style of cooking, as he describes it. He has trained and learned under renowned chefs like Ferran Adria, Grant Achatz, Alain Ducasse, etc. After traveling the entire world and working under renowned chefs while pursuing his creative passion in gastronomy, he returned to his country, Italy.
Nicola opened Feva, an affordable, fine-dining Italian restaurant, with his wife, Elodie Dubuisson. He considers it to be an expression of their gastronomic style, a version that has derived from constant research and a creative combination of ideas that matured over the years.
So, it is not surprising that he has created something as beautiful and unique as ”Fried Air.”
What is the philosophy behind such a dish?
According to the manager of the restaurant, Leonardo Romanello, the idea of “Fried Air” came from trying to express the core values that they follow. The name “Aria Fritta” is equivalent in English to “full of hot air.” It is an idiom used for people who talk a lot without saying anything substantial. It is this expression or culture that they wanted to make people conscious of – but gastronomically. The philosophy behind this dish, apart from recreating the freshness and fragrance of the air, is to point out the frivolity that has engulfed modern conversations!
So, if you are planning a vacation soon, why not breathe some fresh air and eat some “Fried Air” in Veneto?
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