By Bilal Kuchay
An Italian restaurant has come up with a creative way to keep calorie counters snacking too – serving diners fried AIR.
Known as ‘Aria Fritta’ in Italian, the eye-catching dish served by Feva Restaurant in Castelfranco Veneto, northern Italy, is designed to capture the essence of being outdoors and of inhaling fresh air.
The crispy treats – which are also meant to represent the English expression ‘full of hot air’ – are actually made of tapioca skin which is first boiled to make a batter, before being baked and deep fried.
After being thoroughly dried to remove the oil, the light batter shapes are then infused with low levels of the gas ozone for 10 minutes.
The chefs say the process not only give the treats a special aroma but lends them a touch of the high altitude, snow and pure air northern Italy is famous for.
Cooks then season the dish with blue salt to represent the sky before the crispy fried air is placed on a bed of cotton candy and served with a vegan sesame seed mayo and chia seeds.
At the table, in front of the guests, quince vinegar is sprayed over the top of the fried air to trigger a reaction between the vinegar and the spun sugar, creating a ‘frying’ effect.
Nicola Dinato, head chef at Feva Restaurant, said: “Aria Fritta is a simple batter, tapioca and water, oven-cooked and then deep-fried.
“Low levels of ozone are then infused to it and is immediately served on top of a cloud of cotton candy with blue salt powder and a vegan white sesame seed mayo.
“The aim is to recall the fragrance of fresh air.”
The unusual treat is offered to the surprise of guests as an appetiser free of cost.
Leonardo Romanello, the manager of the restaurant, said the idea of the air fritters came from their ‘core values’.
He added: “Aria Fritta is idiomatic, an expression, the equivalent in english for ‘full of hot air’ like someone who’s talking a lot, especially without saying anything of value or meaning.
“Looking around us, in this particular moment in history we wanted to send a message to our guests, transforming this expression into something of gastronomic value.
“As we are living in an era in which the core values of life are been progressively replaced by frivolous and shallow contents without real meaning.”