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The Sicilian Granita, a cold breakfast

Much more than just a sweet

It’s summer, days are very hot.. how to start the day if not with a fresh granita? Whether it’s chocolate, almond or pistachio from Bronte is a tasty breakfast that Sicilians can not give up: this is the Sicilian granita!

granita with brioche
granita with brioche

From “niviera” on Etna to ice cream shops

The origins of granita date back to the Middle Ages: the first producers were the “nivaroli“, men who in winter collected snow on Etna and kept it in the “niviere”, large holes finished with bricks or stones to preserve it from the heat and thus consume it in summer. In fact, during the hot months, the snow was packaged in bales covered with ferns and straw and transported downstream to be sold to noble families. The snow trade was so important that when there were few snowfalls it was a bit like going through a period of famine.
Obviously, over the centuries and thanks to technological progress, we have moved to the use of manual wells and then the ice cream maker.

Granita: almond, chocolate or coffee?

In ancient times, granita was produced from ice, which was scratched and flavoured with syrup. Today, thanks to modern production techniques, it is possible to produce granita in countless flavors, so much so that going to any bar to the question “What flavors are there today?” you will be answered with an endless list: almond, coffee, chocolate, mulberry, peach, lemon are some of the most common flavors.
Usually you choose two flavors (the classic combination is chocolate and almond!) and can also be served with the addition of cream. Remember to accompany it with a hot brioche!


If you are on holiday on our beautiful island do not miss the opportunity to taste a good granita, maybe after a nice sailing trip with our partner Sicily Sailing Experience!