Golossary: Granita

Italian for slushy, but so much better! Theory is that the Arabs brought this sweet icy concoction to Sicily where they mixed their flavored syrups with the snow and ice of Etna and without a doubt, Sicily still has the best granita to be found. Paired with brioche, it makes a typical summer breakfast both cool and refreshing, and appealing in the hot Sicilian summer.

Texture ranges from slushy to nearly solid; it is often served with both straw and spoon. Typical flavors are coffee, almond, lemon and in Sicily mulberry (gelso); though plenty of other variations abound. There is nothing more refreshing on a hot summer day, then a cool granita; a classic combination of Coffee & Almond granita makes the ultimate summer afternoon pick-me-up.

Good granita is made only with ice, sugar and fresh fruit, ground nuts or coffee. If the colors of a granite are supernaturally vibrant, it is made with artificial syrups and will have more in common with a 711 Slurpee than with an Italian granita. Bypass sidewalk stalls as well. Good granita isn’t served from machines that have constantly spinning blades to keep the granita from freezing. The best granita is found in gelaterias, it is kept in cool steel canisters or tins, that maintain its temperature and it is ladled into a glass.

Recommended: Go to Sicily, next best, find a Sicilian Gelateria

Where to get Granita in Florence:

  • Il Re Gelato –  Via Fillipo Strozzi 8/r – Exemplary Almond Granita, great paired with coffee granita
  • Cavini – Piazza Le Cure 19/23 – Very good rich refreshing chocolate granita
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2 thoughts on “Golossary: Granita

    1. Difficult to find it’s true. Some restaurants in the city serve a great coffee granita with whipped cream. It is a great combination, or even easier is you can make one at home. The great thing with granita, at least the coffee variety, is it is easy to do and requires no equipment.

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