Good, fresh and light: granita is a unique and inimitable dessert that makes us famous throughout the world.
But have you ever wondered how it came about?
The origins of the granita date back to the Arab domination in Sicily. In fact, the Arabs brought us sherbet, an iced drink with a fruit and rose flavour, to which the Sicilians combined the snow of Etna, the Peloritani and Iblei Mountains. It was the task of the nivaroli to collect the snow that fell on the mountains in winter and keep it in the neviere until the summer heat arrived. The ice was then grated (hence the original name of the granita: 'a rattata - the grated) and used for the preparation of sorbets and ice creams.
Initially, to give a taste, the lemon was squeezed and a little honey was added. Over time, many new flavors have been experimented that have reached the present day (almond, coffee, strawberry, mulberry, pistachio, etc.).
During the 16th century a change was made to the preservation of snow. It was discovered, in fact, that salt was able to lower the freezing point. The first pozzetto was born, a wooden vat with a zinc bucket inside, which could be turned with a crank. The space between the wood and the bucket was filled with the mixture of salt and snow, which froze the contents inside. The slush prepared in this way has supplanted the "rattata " over the centuries .
During the twentieth century, in the modern formula of the "Traditional Sicilian Granita" while the snow was replaced with water and honey with sugar, the manual well cooled by ice (or snow) and salt, thanks to cold technology (cream maker), has been replaced by the ice cream maker, making it possible to produce that unmistakable creamy mixture, known and praised throughout the world as “Sicilian Granita”.