Ice at First Light

July 26, 2012

When I first came to Sicily I though it was just plain weird: who ever heard of shoveling ice into your mouth at dawn????

But now I think it’s brilliant. These soporific temperatures demand it.

Apparently, Sicily’s Arab conquerors (10th-11th centuries) were the first to blend snowflakes from Mount Etna with sweet fruit juices.

Look at all the flavors you can get nowadays!

Be sure to pair your breakfast granita with a big fat Sicilian brioscia or two.

Mulberry granita in Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga

Mulberry (gelsi) granita

Prickly pear granita, copyright Jann Huizenga

Prickly pear (fichi d’India) granita

Almond granita in Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga

Toasted almond (mandorla) granita

Lemon granita in Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga

Lemon (limone) granita, my fave

Chocolate granita in Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga

Chocolate (cioccolata) granita with cream and nuts (soooo decadent)

Roberta Corradin, copyright Jann Huizenga

My friend Roberta always mixes things up. Here she ordered almond granita mixed with ice coffee. Did you know you can create your own drinks in Italy and the barista will oblige? (Dipping bread into granita is the normal m.o. of islanders at breakfast.)

Read here how it is made.

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41 comments to Ice at First Light

  • try also a cup of coffee on a fresh almond milk…..so deliciuos , too
    parola di siciliana!!!

  • Hmmm all look delicious Roberta looks like the cat that got the bird :)
    Carla x

  • This is cruel and unusual punishment to be shown so blatantly what is missing from my Canadiense breakfast table! Ah, but how I love to suffer, drooling over your photos of coldly calculated temptation.

    • Jann

      Lynne, I bet you have gloriously cool summer mornings there in Canada, so maybe eating ice would not be so appealing???

  • I want them all! Fichi d’India looks delish but my favorite of all in Rome is anguria.

    • Jann

      Natalie–watermelon granita does sound wonderful! I don’t remember seeing that here, so I must look for it. This morning my bar had fresh peach and fresh strawberry granite, though I opted, as usual, for lemon.

  • catherine billups

    If you are in Noto a must is Caffe Sicilia ,which is famous worldwide for Corrado Assenza’s genius, stop in and try not only his granitas. It is also a great place to watch people.

    • Jann

      Catherine, you’re right. Probably the best place in southeast Sicily (or all of Sicily) for granita and every other kind of sweet. You are so lucky to have that place so nearby!

  • Rosamund

    Una foto splendidissimaa di Roberta!

    Limone – anch’io. Mi manca.

    Sicilia chiama …….

    • Jann

      Gia la Sicilia ti chiami??? xxxxxxxx You are so lucky to have missed the heat wave and the fires we had in the canyons! xxxxxx

  • zioronnie

    Is Roberta’s ring a fichi d’India?? I would love to find one for my wife. My cousins reported a very hot spell in Ragusa, and most of southern Europe too.

    • Jann

      Hi zioronnie–we had 2 or more weeks of absolute killing temperatures–now it’s quite a bit better… I will ask Roberta what that is and where she got it and get back to you. Ciao!

  • Nancy

    Limone is my favorite.

  • sandee wheeler

    Well…..that certainly makes the 7 Eleven Slurpees look pitiful!

  • Josephine Lissandrello

    My favorite was granita caffè con panna. Delicious iced espresso with a thick layer of whipped cream on top is a great way to start the day.

  • Lorna LoPrinzo

    What a delicious photo…my mouth is watering….and and love Roberta’s ring..how simple yet completely unusual…

    • Jann

      Roberta will be happy to know that people like her ring. Thank you Lorna! And welcome to the blog!!!!

  • Grazie for the delicious post! I miss Sicily…hope to be back soon.

  • I was hot before I opened your post and now I am refreshed. Thanks. Great shots of refreshment. The toasted almond seems worth a try. Your friend Roberta has quite the sly look about her. I like that!

  • Mmmm. Yummm. Reeefreshing.

    I think I shall have the “Chocolate (cioccolata) granita with cream and nuts,” please.

    Thank you. How much do I owe you, Jann?

    Xxxxxx

  • Larry May

    Pistachio from Bronte -

  • Loretta

    The lemon is my favorite too. How do I make the brioche and ice flakes? I have been to Sicily twice and still don’t know how to make it. We have had an especially hot summer here in Massachusetts, USA and I would love to have this delight to cool down.

  • The lemon would be my favorite, too — so refreshing!

  • John Schinina

    No no no, Jann your killing us with these wonderful blogs.

  • lucy

    I used to get a brioche with gelato every morning when I was visiting my Aunt in Sicily. Everyday at 9 am I would call down to Angelo, he had the gelato shop across the way and he would come out and I would lower the basket 6 floors with the money and he would prepare my brioche and I would pull it up and heaven!!!! Yum!

    • Jann

      Ah, Lucy–this is the way of old Sicily, and I still see the baskets used once in a while. I wonder how much longer this tradition will live. It’s so sweet!!!!!

  • CalCat

    Boooooooooooo hooooooooooooo hooooooooooooooooo…………I miss those lovely sweet brioche!!! I can make granita – I even have a black mulberry tree in my back yard to make mulberry granita – but I can’t find a decent brioche in my area. They are all dinner rolls w/salt on them. :( No one will even MAKE them for me!!! I use Hawaiian sweet rolls – it’s the closest I can get. I’ve been trying to get my old neighbors in Motta to send me some – they think I’m nuts!!! And anyway, it’s still wouldn’t be the same without me being on my balcony on an August Sunday morning watching Etna & my next door neighbor on his balcony (& in his underwear) smoking……..good times, good times! **SIGH**

    • Jann

      Oh Callie, I think you’re crying! My friend Roberta (pictured here) says that she thinks granita with a country bread is even better than with a brioche. So why don’t you try using a baguette or something even more rustic, and see how you like it? Your description of sitting on your balcony in the morning watching Etna smoking away as well as your neighbor in his undies smoking away evokes quite the image. LOVE IT!!!! Thanks for your comment, Callie.

  • Love it love love it, Jann! Gorgeous Roberta looks like she can hardly wait. And who could blame her? Buon appetito!

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