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The Ritual Of Granita In Sicily

18 August 2022
by Giadzy
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When you visit Sicily in the summertime, you get granita. It's simply the way.

Granita, as a recipe, is an incredibly simple treat - but it is so much more than a few ingredients. Granita isn't just a recipe for dessert, but an intrinsic piece of culture in Sicily.


The History

Granita goes back thousands of years - think ancient Mesopotamia. In these ancient times, there was once an occupation titled "nevarolu" - this was a person who traveled to Mount Etna to gather snow, and would conserve it in cold caves year-round. When summer rolled around, Sicilians would purchase this harvested icey snow to turn into a tasty treat. This was the blueprint for modern-day granita, and after many iterations through thousands of years, it became what it is today.


Sicily Granita Ritual, Image Credit: Natasha Wynnyk

Cafe Sicilia

An Unlikely Pairing

In Sicily, granita is not enjoyed all by itself - it's almost always consumed with an accompanying bun of fluffy brioche (and the brioche buns have a bun of their own: a little ball on top of the dough called a tuppo in reference to the low-bun hairstyle popularized by Sicilian women).


Take a scoop of granita, dollop it on a ripped-off chunk of brioche bread, and eat. It just works - trust us!


Bam Bar

Not Just Dessert

While we might consider an icey treat like this to be the perfect after-dinner sweet, that's not when granita is traditionally enjoyed. In summers, it's an incredibly common breakfast item, but can be acceptably eaten at any time of day as a snack or meal of its own.


Where To Get One

It's easy to find granita and brioche just about everywhere in Sicily, but these are a few of the locations we highly recommend.


Cafe Sicilia

Corso Vittorio Emanuele, 125, 96017 Noto SR, Italy


Caffe Europa

Corso Italia 306, 95129 Catania


Bam Bar

Via di Giovanni 45, 98039, Taormina, Sicily Italy



 Cafe Europa


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