The Sicilian granita

Lemon granita and brioche col tuppo

The origin of granita

If you think of Sicily, 99% of you will associate it with summer. And what helps you survive on hot days? Sicilian granita!

Its origins (just like cannolo) date back to the time of Arab domination. It was the Arabs who brought with them the sherbet, or an iced drink that they flavored with fruit juices and flower petals.

The Sicilians, on the other hand, used  the snow collected on Etna or the Nebrodi or on the Peloritani, which they kept preserved inside the niviere, or holes finished with bricks or stones. In summer, the snow was compacted, grated, and covered with fruit and flower syrup.

We have to wait for the twentieth century to see Sicilian granita as we know it today, that is, a mixture of water, sugar, and lemon juice.

My favorite is the lemon one, followed by the chocolate one. But you absolutely cannot miss the other flavors! Almond, strawberry, pistachio, coffee, mulberries, prickly pears…

Anyway, DO NOT forget the brioche col tuppo!

The brioscia

You make a mistake by calling it brioche. Its real (and right) name is brioscia cu (or co depending on the area) tuppu. It stands out from the “sister” mainly for the ingredients used for the preparation.

There is no assured information about its origins, but it seems that they invented it in Sicily, more precisely in Santa Teresa di Riva, thinking of a woman’s breast. We don’t know when.

There is no doubt about the tuppu. The reference is to the French chignon, also known as toupet, and hence tuppu in Sicilian dialect.

Now, it is true that there is no Sicilian who does not know the brioscia, but it is also true that if you go to Catania, you commit sacrilege (!!!) if you take the granita without the brioscia 😀

However, the brioscia is tasteful when accompanied with ice cream, too!

Curiosity: in Avola, in the province of Syracuse, the brioscia is covered with flakes of pizzuta almond, which is one of the best almond varieties in the world.

Do you want to know how to eat it? There are two possibilities: you can start by removing the tuppo and dipping it in granita or ice cream, or you can split it in half and stuff it. I prefer to soak it if I eat the granita and stuffing it if I eat the ice cream, but feel free to eat it as you like 😉

Do you want to know when to taste it? Always!

Bye, see you soon!

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