The History of Granita: Your New Favorite Frozen Summer Dessert

Hello friends,

As summer approaches, nothing beats the heat quite like a cool, icy treat. Which is why we love Granita! Classic Sicilian granita has captivated taste buds around the world. This frosty concoction boasts a rich history dating back centuries, and its simple yet complex flavors make it a versatile indulgence. Join us on a journey through time as we explore the origins of granita, learn how to make granita at home, and discover some popular granita flavor variations to tantalize your taste buds!

The Origins of Granita 

The history of granita traces its roots to the island of Sicily, Italy, where it was first created during the Arab rule in the 9th century. Originally known as “sherbet,” it was a luxurious treat reserved for the aristocracy. The Arabs introduced the technique of freezing a mixture of fruit juices, sugar, and ice, resulting in a refreshing dessert with a unique texture. Over time, Sicilians adapted the recipe, replacing the fruit juices with local flavors like almond, lemon, and coffee, while keeping the icy, granular consistency intact.

Making Granita at Home–It’s So Easy! 

Creating your own homemade granita is a surprisingly easy experience. Here’s a simple step-by-step granita preparation for the perfect homemade granita every time:

  1. Select your flavor: Choose from a range of options like lemon, strawberry, watermelon, or coffee. 
  2. Blend or juice the fruits: If using fresh fruit for a fruit-based granita flavor,  blend it to obtain a smooth puree or juice it to extract the liquid.
  3. Sweeten the mixture: Add sugar or your preferred sweetener to taste. Remember, it should be slightly sweeter than you desire, as freezing can dull the sweetness.
  4. Freeze and scrape: Pour the mixture into a shallow dish and place it in the freezer. After 30 minutes, scrape the icy edges towards the center with a fork. Repeat every 30 minutes for about 2-3 hours until you achieve the desired granular consistency.
  5. Serve and enjoy: Scoop the granita into serving glasses or bowls and savor the refreshing goodness!

Popular Granita Flavors

While lemon granita remains a timeless and classic traditional granita flavor, the possibilities for granita flavor variations are endless. Here are a few popular choices to inspire your experimentation:

  1. Almond Granita: A traditional Sicilian flavor, almond granita features a delicate, nutty taste that pairs beautifully with a drizzle of sweetened coffee. It doesn’t get more authentically Sicilian than almond granita. 
  2. Strawberry Granita: Bursting with the vibrant flavors of ripe strawberries, this is a delightful summer treat. The juice requires a bit of straining, but it is worth it. A sprig of basil or mint is a perfect garnish. 
  3. Coffee Granita: For a bold and invigorating granita, infuse your mixture with strong, freshly brewed coffee. Add a splash of milk or whipped cream for an indulgent twist. This is a cold pick-me-up on a hot summer afternoon.
  4. Watermelon Granita: Perfect for hot summer days, this juicy and refreshing watermelon granita captures the essence of ripe watermelon. A favorite among young people, especially after a swim.
  5. Chocolate Granita: Yes, we love a chocolate granita. Cold chocolate granita (with a touch of coffee) is both rich and refreshing. Here’s a step-by-step video tutorial on how to make this delightful dessert.

Image of Chocolate GranitaStep-by-Step Video Tutorial: How to Make Chocolate Granita

Pick a favorite flavor and get started–you will love the results. Homemade granita is a wonderfully easy and refreshing summer dessert that can easily become your new favorite staple. 

Happy Summer and Enjoy!