Granita is like a pot of gold waiting for me in Sicily. I dream of it, I can't wait to have it and when I already have it, I can't wait to eat more. There are the classic flavors of limone (lemon), caffè (coffee), gelsi bianchi (white mulberries), gelsi neri (black mulberries), mandorle (almonds), and pistacchi (pistachios). Whatever flavor it is, it will definitely win you over a hundred times over. I love the limone in the morning along with a brioche. With its strength, it's quite hard to eat it alone first thing in the morning but with that sweet bread, they all fit perfectly together. This Sicilian summer breakfast is the most unique I have ever had and it's something that pulls you back to the island for a taste of its granita.
The other night, I was speaking with a father of my son's classmate who originally came from Sicily. From his expression, he was obviously homesick especially for the food. After speaking about some dishes, we arrived to the granita. The word was like a special wand that was swooshed in front of us. Getting animated about the flavors, where to get the best ones, the specialties of some areas like the almonds of Avola (which is my favorite). He waved the white flag and the conversation finished with an abrupt halt. Speaking about the food made him feel more homesick than ever. He's going back there next month and he's having the real thing. I, on the other hand, with no plans to go to Sicily this year, took out my last almond paste block from Sicily and made my own granita.
Granita is just fruit, sugar and water. In some households, they add egg whites to make it fluffier. It's always a discussion among Sicilians themselves. Who puts egg whites, my mother-in-law does after learning from a friend who does, her sister doesn't. I don't put egg whites in mine and since granita is something that should be eaten as soon as it freezes to enjoy it better, I like to keep it simple.
I have already tried making other granita flavors and this one came out very good and refreshing. With cantaloupe being already a refreshing summer fruit, the moment is perfect! I created this Cantaloupe Granita for Skinny Ms., a site about healthy living where you can find a lot of health tips and recipes. Hope you enjoy this one!