To deal with the hot summer days, we ate a lot of granita during our recent trip to Sicily. This was one of my favorite combinations: lemon granita submerged in fresh-squeezed pomegranate juice. As we prepared to visit the Sanctuary of Demeter Malophoros at Selinunte Archaeological Park, it was perfect. (And apropos considering “Malophoros” means fruit.)
Granita is known as Italian ice in the United States. It is a blend of fresh fruit, ice, and sugar. The art of making excellent granita has to do with the quality of the seasonal fruit and sugar, the purity of the water/ice (In the past, cave-stored winter snow from the peek of Mount Etna was used!), and the method used to blend all of the ingredients together. A slow, caring churn makes the grade, for example.
It is meant to be refreshing, and it usually is! Lemon is the classic flavor, but others include mulberry, orange, pistacchio, almond, strawberry, and coffee.