Thursday, June 05, 2008


During the middle ages in Messina, a profession existed known as the "U Nevarolu", that is a man who would transport and conserve the snow from Mt.Etna all year round. In the Peloritani mountains these particularly fresh natural gorges can still be found where they conserved the snow. When the warm temperatures arrived in Sicily, Nobel Messinesi bought this snow and squeezed lemon on top, thus creating the Granita.

During our hike to the top of Etna we found many patches of frozen ice.

Noting says SUMMERTIME better than a refreshing morning granita! Here in Sicily, the birth place of this sweet treasure, families and friends gather in the late morning over a delicate glass of smooth, soft, flavored ice. Accompanied with a warm doughy Sicilian brioche, this breakfast treat can be found in almost every bar in the area.

The texture of the granita varies from city to city on the island; on the west coast and in Palermo it is at its chunkiest, and in the east where we are it is nearly as smooth as sorbet. From our travels, we have to say that we have the best...

Common and traditional flavors in our parts include lemon, coffee, almond, strawberry, peach, Black Mulberry, and chocolate.

Here we have the classic lemon.
If you find yourself in Sicily, notice how the brioche is eaten. First, pop off the top and save it till the last bite.
Then, break away piece by piece the soft dough and dip it into the delicate granita.

Yet another gift from Mt. Etna... Enjoy!


Scintilla said...

I love lemon granita. Never had it for breakfast with a brioche though!

Jilli said...

So, Positano doesn't do the breakfast granita?? Try it!

How about the gelato brioche sandwich??

Scintilla said...

I have a caffe` ghiacciato for breakfast (coffee granita)sometimes in the heat of summer.

Yes we do have the gelato brioche sandwich !

Bob and Rosemary said...

This brings me back to our days in Marina di Ragusa eating the lemon granita with a brioche at the local coffee bar! I can still close my eyes and taste it! Thank you for reminding me.

The most decadent was a coffee granita in Ragusa with whipped cream on top -- heaven!

Enjoy one for me!

Lucia said...

When I was in Sicily (1983) I used order Brioche with gelato in between for breakfast every morning! I would lower my basket down with my money and the man at the BAR (fortunately for us on the other side of the street) would walk out and ask say "the usual" and I would say Si!
Nothing better then a Brioche for breakfast!

Ice Tea For Me said...

oh these look so good and refreshing. Jilli, I haven't read your whole blog yet but if you haven't already please post a recipe for the granita or is it just pouring your favorite syrup over shaved ice? Would like to give it a try.


Jilli said...

There are recipes all over the internet for Granita, and I have tried a few. However, they do not come anywhere close! The trick, I've been told, is an ice-cream machine. If you were to freeze a mixture of fresh squeezed fruit juice with a bit of sugar and periodically stir the mixture, you'd come out with a tasty homemade variety. However, as I stated earlier, I just cannot call it Granita...

However, give it a try! Just make sure it doesn't over freeze!