Sicilian food chronicles: the Granita

The weather in Sicily can be very hot during the Mediterranean Summer – starting from late April to mid-October – and locals have developed different ways to fight the heat without giving up on local tastes, like the granita. 

A typical Sicilian breakfast: granita and brioche

A typical Sicilian breakfast: granita and brioche

This very typical Sicilian Street Food dates back to the middle age when the Arabic population used to harvest snow and ice blocks from the top of the Etna Volcano and other mountains in Sicily, and then distribute them in the coastal towns during the warm season, re-inventing the sherbet. 

During the years, thanks to the richness of fruits and nuts of Sicily used as natural toppings, the sherbet transformed into rattata and finally into the actual granita.

Daybreak at the bar - granita with small brioche buns

Daybreak at the bar – granita with small brioche buns

Considering the temperatures that an average summer day can reach, there is nothing better than waking up early, taking a nice small walk through the historical centre of a sea town, and having breakfast with granita or gelato, brioche and Italian coffee. You heard it right, gelato and granita are breakfast food in Sicily!

Locals use to have a small cup of flavoured granita topped with handmade whipped cream and taste it together with a brioche bun or a cornetto in a terrazza of a bar. Many bars or pasticceria also have a large variety of flavours to offer: the most popular granita is the coffee flavoured one because it gives the drinker both an energy boost and a refreshing chill.

Other famous and typical flavours are mulberry, fig, prickly pear, chocolate, lemon, almond, pistachio, orange and aniseed. However, many bars in Sicily as well as others all over Italy have started to develop more “commercial” flavours like Nutella, passion fruit, marshmallow and many others that a Sicilian would surely consider as a sort of blasphemy.

Fruity granita flavours -juicy, tasty and refreshing

Fruity granita flavours -juicy, tasty and refreshing

Some of the most popular bars where you can find the best granita are: Colicchia in Trapani, Pasticceria Eden in Messina, Bar Roma in Sciacca and the Alfredo bar in Salina.

Anyway, granita is perfect in every moment of the day, we believe it is a great way to finish a fish-based dinner – especially the lemon and prickly pear flavours – or as a reward after a long day hiking in a wild gorge with friends!

The only problem is that if you have never been to Sicily then you have never tasted granita. So get ready and come visit us for an authentic Sicilian Life experience.

Categories: Food

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