Because the Sicilian granita is different from all the others

What makes the unique Sicilian granita And different from all the others? This dessert, which refreshes even the hottest days, has a history and unique characteristics which differentiate it from similar preparations (such as sorbetthe cremolata or the granitas that are made elsewhere). Let’s find out why together.

What makes Sicilian granita unique

Yup it’s quick to say granita, but this dessert as simple as it is delicious, takes on fundamental differences depending on how it is prepared. In Sicily represents a real tradition, to be enjoyed from the moment of breakfast, together with a brioche with tuppo or even with a sandwich (well yes!).

The ingredientssimple and genuine, they represent the territory and its excellences. The history of Sicilian granita has its roots in an Arab past. In fact, the Arabs themselves invented the sherbet. From this tradition, the custom of recover the snow on the Sicilian mountains, such as Etna, the Nebrodi and the Iblei, during the winter period: it was kept in the neviere, to be used in the summer months.

The “magic” of the neviere

The ice was “scratched”, hence names such as “ratted” to indicate versions of granita, so it was mixed with lemon juice, various fruit juices or rose water. THE nivaroliin the Middle Ages, they used to recover the snow from the mountains, to deposit it in the neviere.

Starting from 1500then, it was discovered that by combining the ice sea salt a “eutectic” mixture was created, i.e. a mixture whose melting and/or solidification point is lower than its individual components.

This is the key to a granita that it’s not solid, it’s not frozen, but it has that amazing texture creamy. In the 16th century, the use of the pozzetto became widespread, i.e. a wooden container that contains a zinc bucket. This was turned by a crank, which allowed the heat to be removed from the mixture.

This prevented the formation of ice crystals. The subsequent introduction of the ice cream makerof course, has further changed the methods of preserving preparation.

Difference between Sicilian granita, sorbet and cremolata

There slushunlike the sorbet and cremolata, has a different consistency and a different amount of air. The sorbet contains water, sugars, fruit juices or whipped egg whites and is distinguished by the scraping of ice. The cremolata includes ice and pieces of fruit.

Generally, in other parts of Italy, one can find a granita made from ice mostly flavored with fruity syrups: it is a compound of hard ice crystals flavored with syrups. The Sicilian granita, on the other hand, is frozen slowly and never completely, continuing to mix.

Furthermore, to flavor our granita, we prefer natural preparations, not syrups of an industrial nature. The main protagonists are the typical products of the island and each province it binds to a particular taste: highly appreciated lemon, almond, jasmine and mulberries, not to mention pistachiocoffee and chocolate.

The Sicilian granita, again, is a true icon of breakfast, which further differentiates it from other similar preparations, mostly consumed at the end of a meal or as an alternative to ice cream. In short, it is a unique and inimitable dessert!

Photo: Laura & Alessandro – Licence.

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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