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Global Gulp: Sicilian Granita

Global Gulp: Sicilian Granita

A Sicilian granita is a frosty beverage that is often imitated but rarely authentically duplicated.

The drink: Made by mixing fruit juice or other liquids like coffee, sugar, and ice, granitas are different from slushes and ices because as they freeze, the mixture is whisked at various intervals. The result is a colorful mound of granular ice crystals. Traditional flavors include lemon, coffee, and almond which are sold virtually year-round in Sicily, the birthplace of granitas. There are also seasonal fruit flavors.

The granita’s origins: For hundreds of years, granitas have been made in Italy, but they were first made in Sicily from the snow of Mount Etna. Juice was added to the ice to flavor it, and it soon became a breakfast staple, served alongside a brioche that is used to scoop up the dense icy mixture. Now the drink is enjoyed throughout the day with or without the brioche.

Who drinks granita: Designer Giorgio Armani and actor Sean Connery are rumored to be fans of Da Alfredo’s granitas.

Where to buy a granita: Shops all over Sicily serve it, but the best is Da Alfredo in Lingua on the island of Salina, which is located in the center of the Aeolian Islands off the coast of Sicily. The tiny island was made famous as the setting for the Italian film Il Postino.

Visitors can dock their boats at the seafront granita bar, which is open from March to November, and indulge in a variety of granitas made by Alfredo and his sons. Flavors to try include granita al limone (lemon granita), made from the island’s lemons which are less acidic, granita al fragola con panna (strawberry granita with whipped cream), and granita al caffe (coffee granita). The family-run granita bar is at Piazza Marina Garibaldi, Lingua, 39 090 984 3075.

Not headed to Sicily anytime soon? Make your own watermelon and mint granita or mango rum granita,


Granita: Sicily's Slushy Treat

Granita is Sicily's centuries-old icy delicacy, with a range of flavors from sweet and sour lemon to cappuccino.

Granita is one of the greatest gastronomic joys of Sicily, a tradition dating from Arab dominion and the nevari snow dealers, who hauled blocks of snow to the city from the slopes of Mount Etna. The translation "ices" is inadequate, as it sounds so insignificant for such an incredible treat.

There are different styles--more or less granular, more or less slushy, that depend on location and whim, but most experts agree that granita is at its best on the eastern part of the island. Almond and coffee granita are found all year, and they're often served together, usually in a glass, along with an eggy brioche bun, meant to scoop up the granita. It's the Sicilian take on a cappuccino, icy but not frozen, the most perfect warm-weather breakfast, and, like cappuccino, served in the morning.

Other flavors are consumed the rest of the day, although there are no hard and fast rules. After all, this is Sicily. After 26 centuries of history, what's a rule? Lemon granita is available all year long, but other fruit flavors are seasonal.

There are many contenders for the greatest granita in Sicily. Alfredo on the Aeolian island of Salina is amazing, outdoor tables in a wide piazza, special pulpy almond granita, powerful coffee granita with a jolt, seasonal fruit flavors. Their website, www.daalfredo.com should be up by August.

Bar Roma in Sciacca, on the southern coast, is a local hangout in the harbor--fishermen stop off for a lemon granita before heading out in the early morning, and although there's a bin of strawberry, it's only for tourists--everyone else has the superb, slushy, tart lemon granita. Owner "Zio" Aurelio, who prepares and serves his granita seven days a week, enhances the experience. (Note: visitors to Sciacca shouldn't miss the Castello Incantato Bentivenga outside town). Don't bother with the brioche in either place.

For me, the greatest granita experience in Sicily is at Caffe Sicilia, in Noto, worth a pilgrimage not only for lovers of Sicilian Baroque. Corrado Assenza, assisted by his brother Carlo, makes fantastic torrone, infused honey, Sicilian fruit preserves and traditional pastries including the island's best brioche (the downfall of most places). I focus on the granita, simply divine, the finest I've ever encountered, silky, with intense, true flavors.

Look for Noto almond, fantastic coffee, chocolate and seasonal specials Noto wild strawberry, black mulberry, peach, blood orange, sour cherry, mandarin orange, moscato grape and even new-wave spicy fig. All served in individual white porcelain bowls, never a glass. The only flavors that can be combined in a bowl are almond and coffee. Corrado is a purist.

Da Alfredo, Lingua, Salina, tel. 090-984-3075

Bar Roma, piazza Dogana 12, Sciacca, tel 0925-21239

Caffe Sicilia, corso Vittorio Emanuele 125, Noto, tel. 0931-835-013


Granita: Sicily's Slushy Treat

Granita is Sicily's centuries-old icy delicacy, with a range of flavors from sweet and sour lemon to cappuccino.

Granita is one of the greatest gastronomic joys of Sicily, a tradition dating from Arab dominion and the nevari snow dealers, who hauled blocks of snow to the city from the slopes of Mount Etna. The translation "ices" is inadequate, as it sounds so insignificant for such an incredible treat.

There are different styles--more or less granular, more or less slushy, that depend on location and whim, but most experts agree that granita is at its best on the eastern part of the island. Almond and coffee granita are found all year, and they're often served together, usually in a glass, along with an eggy brioche bun, meant to scoop up the granita. It's the Sicilian take on a cappuccino, icy but not frozen, the most perfect warm-weather breakfast, and, like cappuccino, served in the morning.

Other flavors are consumed the rest of the day, although there are no hard and fast rules. After all, this is Sicily. After 26 centuries of history, what's a rule? Lemon granita is available all year long, but other fruit flavors are seasonal.

There are many contenders for the greatest granita in Sicily. Alfredo on the Aeolian island of Salina is amazing, outdoor tables in a wide piazza, special pulpy almond granita, powerful coffee granita with a jolt, seasonal fruit flavors. Their website, www.daalfredo.com should be up by August.

Bar Roma in Sciacca, on the southern coast, is a local hangout in the harbor--fishermen stop off for a lemon granita before heading out in the early morning, and although there's a bin of strawberry, it's only for tourists--everyone else has the superb, slushy, tart lemon granita. Owner "Zio" Aurelio, who prepares and serves his granita seven days a week, enhances the experience. (Note: visitors to Sciacca shouldn't miss the Castello Incantato Bentivenga outside town). Don't bother with the brioche in either place.

For me, the greatest granita experience in Sicily is at Caffe Sicilia, in Noto, worth a pilgrimage not only for lovers of Sicilian Baroque. Corrado Assenza, assisted by his brother Carlo, makes fantastic torrone, infused honey, Sicilian fruit preserves and traditional pastries including the island's best brioche (the downfall of most places). I focus on the granita, simply divine, the finest I've ever encountered, silky, with intense, true flavors.

Look for Noto almond, fantastic coffee, chocolate and seasonal specials Noto wild strawberry, black mulberry, peach, blood orange, sour cherry, mandarin orange, moscato grape and even new-wave spicy fig. All served in individual white porcelain bowls, never a glass. The only flavors that can be combined in a bowl are almond and coffee. Corrado is a purist.

Da Alfredo, Lingua, Salina, tel. 090-984-3075

Bar Roma, piazza Dogana 12, Sciacca, tel 0925-21239

Caffe Sicilia, corso Vittorio Emanuele 125, Noto, tel. 0931-835-013


Granita: Sicily's Slushy Treat

Granita is Sicily's centuries-old icy delicacy, with a range of flavors from sweet and sour lemon to cappuccino.

Granita is one of the greatest gastronomic joys of Sicily, a tradition dating from Arab dominion and the nevari snow dealers, who hauled blocks of snow to the city from the slopes of Mount Etna. The translation "ices" is inadequate, as it sounds so insignificant for such an incredible treat.

There are different styles--more or less granular, more or less slushy, that depend on location and whim, but most experts agree that granita is at its best on the eastern part of the island. Almond and coffee granita are found all year, and they're often served together, usually in a glass, along with an eggy brioche bun, meant to scoop up the granita. It's the Sicilian take on a cappuccino, icy but not frozen, the most perfect warm-weather breakfast, and, like cappuccino, served in the morning.

Other flavors are consumed the rest of the day, although there are no hard and fast rules. After all, this is Sicily. After 26 centuries of history, what's a rule? Lemon granita is available all year long, but other fruit flavors are seasonal.

There are many contenders for the greatest granita in Sicily. Alfredo on the Aeolian island of Salina is amazing, outdoor tables in a wide piazza, special pulpy almond granita, powerful coffee granita with a jolt, seasonal fruit flavors. Their website, www.daalfredo.com should be up by August.

Bar Roma in Sciacca, on the southern coast, is a local hangout in the harbor--fishermen stop off for a lemon granita before heading out in the early morning, and although there's a bin of strawberry, it's only for tourists--everyone else has the superb, slushy, tart lemon granita. Owner "Zio" Aurelio, who prepares and serves his granita seven days a week, enhances the experience. (Note: visitors to Sciacca shouldn't miss the Castello Incantato Bentivenga outside town). Don't bother with the brioche in either place.

For me, the greatest granita experience in Sicily is at Caffe Sicilia, in Noto, worth a pilgrimage not only for lovers of Sicilian Baroque. Corrado Assenza, assisted by his brother Carlo, makes fantastic torrone, infused honey, Sicilian fruit preserves and traditional pastries including the island's best brioche (the downfall of most places). I focus on the granita, simply divine, the finest I've ever encountered, silky, with intense, true flavors.

Look for Noto almond, fantastic coffee, chocolate and seasonal specials Noto wild strawberry, black mulberry, peach, blood orange, sour cherry, mandarin orange, moscato grape and even new-wave spicy fig. All served in individual white porcelain bowls, never a glass. The only flavors that can be combined in a bowl are almond and coffee. Corrado is a purist.

Da Alfredo, Lingua, Salina, tel. 090-984-3075

Bar Roma, piazza Dogana 12, Sciacca, tel 0925-21239

Caffe Sicilia, corso Vittorio Emanuele 125, Noto, tel. 0931-835-013


Granita: Sicily's Slushy Treat

Granita is Sicily's centuries-old icy delicacy, with a range of flavors from sweet and sour lemon to cappuccino.

Granita is one of the greatest gastronomic joys of Sicily, a tradition dating from Arab dominion and the nevari snow dealers, who hauled blocks of snow to the city from the slopes of Mount Etna. The translation "ices" is inadequate, as it sounds so insignificant for such an incredible treat.

There are different styles--more or less granular, more or less slushy, that depend on location and whim, but most experts agree that granita is at its best on the eastern part of the island. Almond and coffee granita are found all year, and they're often served together, usually in a glass, along with an eggy brioche bun, meant to scoop up the granita. It's the Sicilian take on a cappuccino, icy but not frozen, the most perfect warm-weather breakfast, and, like cappuccino, served in the morning.

Other flavors are consumed the rest of the day, although there are no hard and fast rules. After all, this is Sicily. After 26 centuries of history, what's a rule? Lemon granita is available all year long, but other fruit flavors are seasonal.

There are many contenders for the greatest granita in Sicily. Alfredo on the Aeolian island of Salina is amazing, outdoor tables in a wide piazza, special pulpy almond granita, powerful coffee granita with a jolt, seasonal fruit flavors. Their website, www.daalfredo.com should be up by August.

Bar Roma in Sciacca, on the southern coast, is a local hangout in the harbor--fishermen stop off for a lemon granita before heading out in the early morning, and although there's a bin of strawberry, it's only for tourists--everyone else has the superb, slushy, tart lemon granita. Owner "Zio" Aurelio, who prepares and serves his granita seven days a week, enhances the experience. (Note: visitors to Sciacca shouldn't miss the Castello Incantato Bentivenga outside town). Don't bother with the brioche in either place.

For me, the greatest granita experience in Sicily is at Caffe Sicilia, in Noto, worth a pilgrimage not only for lovers of Sicilian Baroque. Corrado Assenza, assisted by his brother Carlo, makes fantastic torrone, infused honey, Sicilian fruit preserves and traditional pastries including the island's best brioche (the downfall of most places). I focus on the granita, simply divine, the finest I've ever encountered, silky, with intense, true flavors.

Look for Noto almond, fantastic coffee, chocolate and seasonal specials Noto wild strawberry, black mulberry, peach, blood orange, sour cherry, mandarin orange, moscato grape and even new-wave spicy fig. All served in individual white porcelain bowls, never a glass. The only flavors that can be combined in a bowl are almond and coffee. Corrado is a purist.

Da Alfredo, Lingua, Salina, tel. 090-984-3075

Bar Roma, piazza Dogana 12, Sciacca, tel 0925-21239

Caffe Sicilia, corso Vittorio Emanuele 125, Noto, tel. 0931-835-013


Granita: Sicily's Slushy Treat

Granita is Sicily's centuries-old icy delicacy, with a range of flavors from sweet and sour lemon to cappuccino.

Granita is one of the greatest gastronomic joys of Sicily, a tradition dating from Arab dominion and the nevari snow dealers, who hauled blocks of snow to the city from the slopes of Mount Etna. The translation "ices" is inadequate, as it sounds so insignificant for such an incredible treat.

There are different styles--more or less granular, more or less slushy, that depend on location and whim, but most experts agree that granita is at its best on the eastern part of the island. Almond and coffee granita are found all year, and they're often served together, usually in a glass, along with an eggy brioche bun, meant to scoop up the granita. It's the Sicilian take on a cappuccino, icy but not frozen, the most perfect warm-weather breakfast, and, like cappuccino, served in the morning.

Other flavors are consumed the rest of the day, although there are no hard and fast rules. After all, this is Sicily. After 26 centuries of history, what's a rule? Lemon granita is available all year long, but other fruit flavors are seasonal.

There are many contenders for the greatest granita in Sicily. Alfredo on the Aeolian island of Salina is amazing, outdoor tables in a wide piazza, special pulpy almond granita, powerful coffee granita with a jolt, seasonal fruit flavors. Their website, www.daalfredo.com should be up by August.

Bar Roma in Sciacca, on the southern coast, is a local hangout in the harbor--fishermen stop off for a lemon granita before heading out in the early morning, and although there's a bin of strawberry, it's only for tourists--everyone else has the superb, slushy, tart lemon granita. Owner "Zio" Aurelio, who prepares and serves his granita seven days a week, enhances the experience. (Note: visitors to Sciacca shouldn't miss the Castello Incantato Bentivenga outside town). Don't bother with the brioche in either place.

For me, the greatest granita experience in Sicily is at Caffe Sicilia, in Noto, worth a pilgrimage not only for lovers of Sicilian Baroque. Corrado Assenza, assisted by his brother Carlo, makes fantastic torrone, infused honey, Sicilian fruit preserves and traditional pastries including the island's best brioche (the downfall of most places). I focus on the granita, simply divine, the finest I've ever encountered, silky, with intense, true flavors.

Look for Noto almond, fantastic coffee, chocolate and seasonal specials Noto wild strawberry, black mulberry, peach, blood orange, sour cherry, mandarin orange, moscato grape and even new-wave spicy fig. All served in individual white porcelain bowls, never a glass. The only flavors that can be combined in a bowl are almond and coffee. Corrado is a purist.

Da Alfredo, Lingua, Salina, tel. 090-984-3075

Bar Roma, piazza Dogana 12, Sciacca, tel 0925-21239

Caffe Sicilia, corso Vittorio Emanuele 125, Noto, tel. 0931-835-013


Granita: Sicily's Slushy Treat

Granita is Sicily's centuries-old icy delicacy, with a range of flavors from sweet and sour lemon to cappuccino.

Granita is one of the greatest gastronomic joys of Sicily, a tradition dating from Arab dominion and the nevari snow dealers, who hauled blocks of snow to the city from the slopes of Mount Etna. The translation "ices" is inadequate, as it sounds so insignificant for such an incredible treat.

There are different styles--more or less granular, more or less slushy, that depend on location and whim, but most experts agree that granita is at its best on the eastern part of the island. Almond and coffee granita are found all year, and they're often served together, usually in a glass, along with an eggy brioche bun, meant to scoop up the granita. It's the Sicilian take on a cappuccino, icy but not frozen, the most perfect warm-weather breakfast, and, like cappuccino, served in the morning.

Other flavors are consumed the rest of the day, although there are no hard and fast rules. After all, this is Sicily. After 26 centuries of history, what's a rule? Lemon granita is available all year long, but other fruit flavors are seasonal.

There are many contenders for the greatest granita in Sicily. Alfredo on the Aeolian island of Salina is amazing, outdoor tables in a wide piazza, special pulpy almond granita, powerful coffee granita with a jolt, seasonal fruit flavors. Their website, www.daalfredo.com should be up by August.

Bar Roma in Sciacca, on the southern coast, is a local hangout in the harbor--fishermen stop off for a lemon granita before heading out in the early morning, and although there's a bin of strawberry, it's only for tourists--everyone else has the superb, slushy, tart lemon granita. Owner "Zio" Aurelio, who prepares and serves his granita seven days a week, enhances the experience. (Note: visitors to Sciacca shouldn't miss the Castello Incantato Bentivenga outside town). Don't bother with the brioche in either place.

For me, the greatest granita experience in Sicily is at Caffe Sicilia, in Noto, worth a pilgrimage not only for lovers of Sicilian Baroque. Corrado Assenza, assisted by his brother Carlo, makes fantastic torrone, infused honey, Sicilian fruit preserves and traditional pastries including the island's best brioche (the downfall of most places). I focus on the granita, simply divine, the finest I've ever encountered, silky, with intense, true flavors.

Look for Noto almond, fantastic coffee, chocolate and seasonal specials Noto wild strawberry, black mulberry, peach, blood orange, sour cherry, mandarin orange, moscato grape and even new-wave spicy fig. All served in individual white porcelain bowls, never a glass. The only flavors that can be combined in a bowl are almond and coffee. Corrado is a purist.

Da Alfredo, Lingua, Salina, tel. 090-984-3075

Bar Roma, piazza Dogana 12, Sciacca, tel 0925-21239

Caffe Sicilia, corso Vittorio Emanuele 125, Noto, tel. 0931-835-013


Granita: Sicily's Slushy Treat

Granita is Sicily's centuries-old icy delicacy, with a range of flavors from sweet and sour lemon to cappuccino.

Granita is one of the greatest gastronomic joys of Sicily, a tradition dating from Arab dominion and the nevari snow dealers, who hauled blocks of snow to the city from the slopes of Mount Etna. The translation "ices" is inadequate, as it sounds so insignificant for such an incredible treat.

There are different styles--more or less granular, more or less slushy, that depend on location and whim, but most experts agree that granita is at its best on the eastern part of the island. Almond and coffee granita are found all year, and they're often served together, usually in a glass, along with an eggy brioche bun, meant to scoop up the granita. It's the Sicilian take on a cappuccino, icy but not frozen, the most perfect warm-weather breakfast, and, like cappuccino, served in the morning.

Other flavors are consumed the rest of the day, although there are no hard and fast rules. After all, this is Sicily. After 26 centuries of history, what's a rule? Lemon granita is available all year long, but other fruit flavors are seasonal.

There are many contenders for the greatest granita in Sicily. Alfredo on the Aeolian island of Salina is amazing, outdoor tables in a wide piazza, special pulpy almond granita, powerful coffee granita with a jolt, seasonal fruit flavors. Their website, www.daalfredo.com should be up by August.

Bar Roma in Sciacca, on the southern coast, is a local hangout in the harbor--fishermen stop off for a lemon granita before heading out in the early morning, and although there's a bin of strawberry, it's only for tourists--everyone else has the superb, slushy, tart lemon granita. Owner "Zio" Aurelio, who prepares and serves his granita seven days a week, enhances the experience. (Note: visitors to Sciacca shouldn't miss the Castello Incantato Bentivenga outside town). Don't bother with the brioche in either place.

For me, the greatest granita experience in Sicily is at Caffe Sicilia, in Noto, worth a pilgrimage not only for lovers of Sicilian Baroque. Corrado Assenza, assisted by his brother Carlo, makes fantastic torrone, infused honey, Sicilian fruit preserves and traditional pastries including the island's best brioche (the downfall of most places). I focus on the granita, simply divine, the finest I've ever encountered, silky, with intense, true flavors.

Look for Noto almond, fantastic coffee, chocolate and seasonal specials Noto wild strawberry, black mulberry, peach, blood orange, sour cherry, mandarin orange, moscato grape and even new-wave spicy fig. All served in individual white porcelain bowls, never a glass. The only flavors that can be combined in a bowl are almond and coffee. Corrado is a purist.

Da Alfredo, Lingua, Salina, tel. 090-984-3075

Bar Roma, piazza Dogana 12, Sciacca, tel 0925-21239

Caffe Sicilia, corso Vittorio Emanuele 125, Noto, tel. 0931-835-013


Granita: Sicily's Slushy Treat

Granita is Sicily's centuries-old icy delicacy, with a range of flavors from sweet and sour lemon to cappuccino.

Granita is one of the greatest gastronomic joys of Sicily, a tradition dating from Arab dominion and the nevari snow dealers, who hauled blocks of snow to the city from the slopes of Mount Etna. The translation "ices" is inadequate, as it sounds so insignificant for such an incredible treat.

There are different styles--more or less granular, more or less slushy, that depend on location and whim, but most experts agree that granita is at its best on the eastern part of the island. Almond and coffee granita are found all year, and they're often served together, usually in a glass, along with an eggy brioche bun, meant to scoop up the granita. It's the Sicilian take on a cappuccino, icy but not frozen, the most perfect warm-weather breakfast, and, like cappuccino, served in the morning.

Other flavors are consumed the rest of the day, although there are no hard and fast rules. After all, this is Sicily. After 26 centuries of history, what's a rule? Lemon granita is available all year long, but other fruit flavors are seasonal.

There are many contenders for the greatest granita in Sicily. Alfredo on the Aeolian island of Salina is amazing, outdoor tables in a wide piazza, special pulpy almond granita, powerful coffee granita with a jolt, seasonal fruit flavors. Their website, www.daalfredo.com should be up by August.

Bar Roma in Sciacca, on the southern coast, is a local hangout in the harbor--fishermen stop off for a lemon granita before heading out in the early morning, and although there's a bin of strawberry, it's only for tourists--everyone else has the superb, slushy, tart lemon granita. Owner "Zio" Aurelio, who prepares and serves his granita seven days a week, enhances the experience. (Note: visitors to Sciacca shouldn't miss the Castello Incantato Bentivenga outside town). Don't bother with the brioche in either place.

For me, the greatest granita experience in Sicily is at Caffe Sicilia, in Noto, worth a pilgrimage not only for lovers of Sicilian Baroque. Corrado Assenza, assisted by his brother Carlo, makes fantastic torrone, infused honey, Sicilian fruit preserves and traditional pastries including the island's best brioche (the downfall of most places). I focus on the granita, simply divine, the finest I've ever encountered, silky, with intense, true flavors.

Look for Noto almond, fantastic coffee, chocolate and seasonal specials Noto wild strawberry, black mulberry, peach, blood orange, sour cherry, mandarin orange, moscato grape and even new-wave spicy fig. All served in individual white porcelain bowls, never a glass. The only flavors that can be combined in a bowl are almond and coffee. Corrado is a purist.

Da Alfredo, Lingua, Salina, tel. 090-984-3075

Bar Roma, piazza Dogana 12, Sciacca, tel 0925-21239

Caffe Sicilia, corso Vittorio Emanuele 125, Noto, tel. 0931-835-013


Granita: Sicily's Slushy Treat

Granita is Sicily's centuries-old icy delicacy, with a range of flavors from sweet and sour lemon to cappuccino.

Granita is one of the greatest gastronomic joys of Sicily, a tradition dating from Arab dominion and the nevari snow dealers, who hauled blocks of snow to the city from the slopes of Mount Etna. The translation "ices" is inadequate, as it sounds so insignificant for such an incredible treat.

There are different styles--more or less granular, more or less slushy, that depend on location and whim, but most experts agree that granita is at its best on the eastern part of the island. Almond and coffee granita are found all year, and they're often served together, usually in a glass, along with an eggy brioche bun, meant to scoop up the granita. It's the Sicilian take on a cappuccino, icy but not frozen, the most perfect warm-weather breakfast, and, like cappuccino, served in the morning.

Other flavors are consumed the rest of the day, although there are no hard and fast rules. After all, this is Sicily. After 26 centuries of history, what's a rule? Lemon granita is available all year long, but other fruit flavors are seasonal.

There are many contenders for the greatest granita in Sicily. Alfredo on the Aeolian island of Salina is amazing, outdoor tables in a wide piazza, special pulpy almond granita, powerful coffee granita with a jolt, seasonal fruit flavors. Their website, www.daalfredo.com should be up by August.

Bar Roma in Sciacca, on the southern coast, is a local hangout in the harbor--fishermen stop off for a lemon granita before heading out in the early morning, and although there's a bin of strawberry, it's only for tourists--everyone else has the superb, slushy, tart lemon granita. Owner "Zio" Aurelio, who prepares and serves his granita seven days a week, enhances the experience. (Note: visitors to Sciacca shouldn't miss the Castello Incantato Bentivenga outside town). Don't bother with the brioche in either place.

For me, the greatest granita experience in Sicily is at Caffe Sicilia, in Noto, worth a pilgrimage not only for lovers of Sicilian Baroque. Corrado Assenza, assisted by his brother Carlo, makes fantastic torrone, infused honey, Sicilian fruit preserves and traditional pastries including the island's best brioche (the downfall of most places). I focus on the granita, simply divine, the finest I've ever encountered, silky, with intense, true flavors.

Look for Noto almond, fantastic coffee, chocolate and seasonal specials Noto wild strawberry, black mulberry, peach, blood orange, sour cherry, mandarin orange, moscato grape and even new-wave spicy fig. All served in individual white porcelain bowls, never a glass. The only flavors that can be combined in a bowl are almond and coffee. Corrado is a purist.

Da Alfredo, Lingua, Salina, tel. 090-984-3075

Bar Roma, piazza Dogana 12, Sciacca, tel 0925-21239

Caffe Sicilia, corso Vittorio Emanuele 125, Noto, tel. 0931-835-013


Granita: Sicily's Slushy Treat

Granita is Sicily's centuries-old icy delicacy, with a range of flavors from sweet and sour lemon to cappuccino.

Granita is one of the greatest gastronomic joys of Sicily, a tradition dating from Arab dominion and the nevari snow dealers, who hauled blocks of snow to the city from the slopes of Mount Etna. The translation "ices" is inadequate, as it sounds so insignificant for such an incredible treat.

There are different styles--more or less granular, more or less slushy, that depend on location and whim, but most experts agree that granita is at its best on the eastern part of the island. Almond and coffee granita are found all year, and they're often served together, usually in a glass, along with an eggy brioche bun, meant to scoop up the granita. It's the Sicilian take on a cappuccino, icy but not frozen, the most perfect warm-weather breakfast, and, like cappuccino, served in the morning.

Other flavors are consumed the rest of the day, although there are no hard and fast rules. After all, this is Sicily. After 26 centuries of history, what's a rule? Lemon granita is available all year long, but other fruit flavors are seasonal.

There are many contenders for the greatest granita in Sicily. Alfredo on the Aeolian island of Salina is amazing, outdoor tables in a wide piazza, special pulpy almond granita, powerful coffee granita with a jolt, seasonal fruit flavors. Their website, www.daalfredo.com should be up by August.

Bar Roma in Sciacca, on the southern coast, is a local hangout in the harbor--fishermen stop off for a lemon granita before heading out in the early morning, and although there's a bin of strawberry, it's only for tourists--everyone else has the superb, slushy, tart lemon granita. Owner "Zio" Aurelio, who prepares and serves his granita seven days a week, enhances the experience. (Note: visitors to Sciacca shouldn't miss the Castello Incantato Bentivenga outside town). Don't bother with the brioche in either place.

For me, the greatest granita experience in Sicily is at Caffe Sicilia, in Noto, worth a pilgrimage not only for lovers of Sicilian Baroque. Corrado Assenza, assisted by his brother Carlo, makes fantastic torrone, infused honey, Sicilian fruit preserves and traditional pastries including the island's best brioche (the downfall of most places). I focus on the granita, simply divine, the finest I've ever encountered, silky, with intense, true flavors.

Look for Noto almond, fantastic coffee, chocolate and seasonal specials Noto wild strawberry, black mulberry, peach, blood orange, sour cherry, mandarin orange, moscato grape and even new-wave spicy fig. All served in individual white porcelain bowls, never a glass. The only flavors that can be combined in a bowl are almond and coffee. Corrado is a purist.

Da Alfredo, Lingua, Salina, tel. 090-984-3075

Bar Roma, piazza Dogana 12, Sciacca, tel 0925-21239

Caffe Sicilia, corso Vittorio Emanuele 125, Noto, tel. 0931-835-013


Watch the video: What to do in Palermo, Sicily. Italy Travel Guide by Made of Journeys (December 2021).