Sunday, August 27, 2006

Not just shaved ice!

I'm back in Sicily, and it's been hotter than Hades--perfect weather for enjoying granite (grah-NEE-tah), which is served everywhere at this time of the year.

Incredibly, our friend Lisa (above on right), who has lived for a total of SEVENTEEN years in Italy and is married TO an Italian, just discovered granite! How she missed it, we are still trying to discover, but apparently it is not available in Florence, where she lived many years. She has "only" lived in Sicily for four years! In between, she was in Florida, where she actually tried "granite," which she described as "just shaved ice." Ha! Little did she know she was missing one of the most delicious, most wonderful treats in Sicily! When she was coaxed into trying it, she immediately fell in love with it (like the rest of us). Now, her knees go weak at just the THOUGHT of granite! She has been sampling every flavor and loving them all--strawberry, lemon, peach, chocolate, almond, coffee, pistachio, mulberry, and more.

Granite, or "granite Siciliana," is always made fresh with real fruits or flavorings, and it's only made and served in the summertime. It is a very popular breakfast dish at cafes, served usually with a warm brioche, or sweet bun. That's what I like to have for breakfast on Sundays at "my" cafe, the Papaveri Papere (Family Duck) down the street.

So, last Sunday, Lisa and several other friends all gathered at this cafe for granite, the icy Sicilian speciality, and we amused the locals with much picture-taking. We may not speak Italian, as Lisa does fluently, but we know our granite!


At August 30, 2006 5:35 PM, Anonymous Jennifer said...

Recently, on a very very hot day in Catania, I stopped at a cafe for a drink. I was craving a cappacino even though it was 11:30am. That's a big no-no here. No cappo after 10!
Anyway, I was the ONLY person there NOT drinking Granite. Someone even said something to me. It's probably good that I don't know what she said. Although I did understand her when she told me my daughter looks like Cameron Diaz (which put me back in good graces with this woman). I'll never make that mistake again. Like they say>>"When in Rome....."


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