Sicilian granita, how to recognize the real one
Today, dear Insideaters, we will make your mouth water. Yes, because we take a trip to Sicily to tell you about an irresistible gluttony, one of the specialties of which Sicilians are most proud and which for them is one of the protagonists of their breakfast and Sicilian street food: the Sicilian granita and brioche with tuppo.
The Sicilian granita is a specialty that arrived in Sicily thanks to the presence of the Arabs in past centuries. Originally it was a sorbet prepared with ice and snow that were brought downstream and to the coasts from the “neviere” (snow cellars) present in the mountains of Sicily, including Etna volcano. In 20th century, thanks to technological progress and the electric refrigeration of the “pozzetti” (ice cream dipper wells) in which it was produced, granita became even more widespread and available all year round.
If we want to talk seriously about Sicilian granita, first you must forget that colorful and grainy mush that almost everyone has seen turning in the machinery of cafés and ice cream parlors in the hot Italian summers. Sicilian granita is a serious matter and must be creamy and velvety, with very small and compact crystals, similar to ice cream in consistency.
To make the granita only water, sugar, syrups and fresh fruit are used. So you may be wondering: how do you get a creamy and velvety product without using eggs, cream, milk or thickeners? The answer is simple and complex at the same time: it takes skill, passion, time and excellent ingredients.
There is no Sicilian granita without Sicilian ingredients. It is useless to search for exotic aromas, or fancy combination. Sicily is rich in excellent raw materials that by themselves provide enough ideas to create a list of possibilities that can make even the most refined palates spoiled for choice. To the three classic flavors that are almond, coffee and lemon, are added the other protagonists of Sicilian gastronomy: pistachio, black mulberries, peach, citrus fruits and in some areas even jasmine.
In short, if you happen to spend a week in Sicily you will really have to work hard to be able to try them all! If you go to Sicily, a food and wine tour is a must to taste some of its specialties.
Sicilian granita and brioche with tuppo: the perfect match
If the granita is a serious matter, so is its pairing par excellence: the one with the brioche with tuppo. The brioche or “brioscia” or “broscia” is the soft and warm pillow on which the pungent and icy granita rests. Two superimposed spheres of fragrant leavened dough, in which anyone will want to sink their teeth without hesitation.
The union of the contrasts between Sicilian granita and brioche with tuppo is a masterpiece of harmony, a textbook combination even according to all the most classic and modern rules of gastronomy. Hot versus cold, soft versus crunchy, fat and heavy versus light.
The brioche col tuppo in itself is in fact a pride of Sicilian pastry, an excellence in which to rediscover the mastery in the production of leavened products, combined with the wise use of fats in confectionery production. Whether prepared with lard or butter, this curiously shaped, soft and sweet bun manages to be the perfect companion for tasting granita.
Finally, as Italians would say, the eye also wants its part. Do you know what the excellent setting is for the gluttonous eyes of those who let themselves be tempted as soon as they enter a café or a pastry shop, before taking the classic souvenir photo of Sicilian days? A brioche, a granita and the colors of Sicily in the background.
We at Insideat love these specialties and can’t wait to let you try them in one of the most famous Sicilian Café on our food tour The beauty and the beautiful of Taormina.