The granita, which is a sweet delight from eastern Sicily, is a specialty to be enjoyed all year round for breakfast, lunch, snack or dinner.It can be taken with the addition of cream, and should be strictly eaten with a soft, warm brioche or, as it happened originally, with freshly baked bread.
Derived from the sherbet, which has its roots in the Arab domination, the granita contains a unique mix of ancient Sicilian traditions. Already in the Middle Ages, there were the "nivaroli" men, those who in winter were responsible for collecting snow on Etna, Peloritani, Iblei and Nebrodi mounts. Throughout the year, they took care to preserve the snow inside holes made with bricks or stones, called "niviere". The snow was then used to make summer sweets (sherbet, granitas and ice creams).
The granita of Messina, Catania and Syracuse is distinguished by its typical creamy consistency. It can be prepared with lemon, almond, pistachio, black mulberry, strawberry, peach, chocolate, hazelnut, coffee. There is a flavour to suit all tastes.
- Sicilian granita
For 6/8 people:
• 200 g PGI almond paste from Avola
• 1 liter water
1. Divide the dough of almond paste into small cubes and place them in a saucepan.
2. Add the water a little at a time and blend the mixture until the almond paste is completely melted.
3.Put the bowl in the freezer and let it rest for about 4 hours. For a better result, mix the granita every 30 minutes with a whisk, so that it remains creamy and does not form ice crystals. If it is not creamy enough, blend it for a few seconds.
4. Serve the granita and decorate it with some sliced almonds.