Granita is one of the best things about living in a hot climate. I don’t know why in Australia it isn’t more readily available. On a stifling summer’s day we could really use a hit of ice cold sweet’n’sour, semi-frozen goodness. And it’s not too calorific either.
Granita comes from Sicily and is more or less the marriage of Arab sweet/sour fruit flavours with ice. It comes from the snow of Mt Etna mixed with citrus fruits, and in the good old bad old days used to be transported off Etna to Catania and even as far away as Palermo.
Today everyone can enjoy it for the price of a few euro. But not so fast … There is a right and a wrong way to eat granita – sure you can have it takeaway in a little plastic cup. But, why not try it Sicilian style in a brioche?
Granita in a brioche? Yes, that’s right. It’s surprisingly workable, although in your heart of stomachs you know you’ve doubled the calories right there. It’s the same as eating an ice cream sandwich, only softer and, depending on what flavour granita you’ve chosen, much more interesting for the palate.
Granitas flavours come in all the usual suspects: lemon, orange, strawberry, chocolate, strawberry. But the killer granita is, in my opinion, mandorla or almond. The texture of ground almonds with the not quite sweet but faint whiff of amaro, or bitter, mixed with ice and sugar is sensational.
Then, if you really want to feel Sicilian, eat it for breakfast as a summery refreshing sweet way to start the day. But if it’s hot, any time is a good time to knock back granita.