Granita, sorbetto, grattachecca o sgroppino… Much more than ice and syrup! 

Granita, a frozen Italian dessert made from sugar, water and assorted flavors

Sicilian granita has rougher consistency than gelato, is entirely free from air and has a sugar content of about 30%. It is made of water, fruit juices or syrups. On the Siracusa coast, it’s semi-liquid, whereas on the opposite side of the region both its texture and name change: it becomes cremolata.

sorbetto al limone

The typical syrups used to make granita Siciliana or cremolata are reminiscent of the Arab world: jasmine, cinnamon, almond, but especially lemon and coffee. 

Known in Italy as granita, this world-famous icy concoction came to America from Sicily


In Rome, people eat grattachecca. The name comes from the verb grattare, to scratch, and from the noun checca,  which was used to indicate a large block of ice. Grattachecca is not really an iced preparation as granita is, because fruit juices or syrups are not mixed into the ice, but added on top of it. 

Known in Italy as granita, this world-famous icy concoction came to America from Sicily

Granita, a frozen Italian dessert made from sugar, water and assorted flavors


Sorbetto was also born in beautiful Sicily. It has a texture similar to that of gelato, of which it probably is a precursor: it is very fluffy, because air is incorporated in it during preparation, but it’s made with water and flavored with fruit and also liqueurs. 

Granita, a frozen Italian dessert made from sugar, water and assorted flavors


Sgroppino comes from the extreme North of Italy, in the area home to Italy’s very own famous Prosecco. You don’t eat sgroppino, you drink it, and wines, liqueurs and Prosecco are added to shaved ice and fruit. The recipe was already known in the 16th century, when it was served at the tables of the wealthy between courses. 
 

La granita Siciliana per eccellenza si presenta con un aspetto più granuloso del gelato e completamente priva di aria, con un contenuto di zuccheri di circa il 30%, ed e' composta da acqua, succo di frutta o sciroppi.

Sulla costa Siracusana viene preparata semi-liquida mentre sul versante opposto, oltre  alla consistenza, cambia anche il suo nome, cremolata. Gli sciroppi ci ricordano il mondo Arabo, il gelsomino, la cannella ma anche la mandorla e soprattutto il limone e il caffè.

A Roma si mangia la grattachecca. Il nome deriva dal verbo “grattare” e dalla parola “checca” che stava ad indicare il grande blocco di ghiaccio.  

Non si può parlare di una vera e propria preparazione, come per la granita, in quanto sciroppi o frutta non vengono mescolati e lavorati assieme ma aggiunti sopra il ghiaccio tritato.  

Il sorbetto che vede i suoi natali sempre nella bella Sicilia, ha una consistenza simile al gelato, di cui forse e' anche il precursore, spumoso perché nella lavorazione viene incorporata aria, ma base di acqua e aromatizzato con frutta o anche liquori.

Con lo “sgroppino” invece ci spostiamo nell'estremo nord d'Italia, patria del più noto vino il Prosecco!Lo sgroppino non si mangia ma si beve e, al classico ghiaccio e frutta, vengono aggiunti vini, liquori o Prosecco. Preparazione già nota agli inizi del 1500 quando era servito solo nelle tavole aristocratiche tra un piatto e l'altro.

Receive More Stories Like This In Your Inbox

SPONSORED

Recommended

Minestrone alla Genovese

We’ve taken on minestrone before, with a base recipe that you can use to make just about any variation you want. But minestrone alla Genovese, Genoa-...

The ritual of la salsa: a taste that reminds of home

The time has come to uncork those jars and taste the "red gold.” What are we talking about? Of the ch'nzerve (a huge pantry that contains bottles of...

Christmas fruit mince pies

Christmas time is usually associated with special recipes that quite often are traditional to our family. Along with Christmas cake and Christmas...

Neapolitan sugo di pomodori

The year was 1921, the place Ellis Island. My maternal grandmother, single, arrives into port from Napoli on the ship Patria to be with her sister...

Just like getting a piece of Italy home every month: here’s EatTiamo!

Opening up a box we don’t know the content of: isn’t that magic? It’s like going back to our childhood’s Christmases, to all those moments of joy and...

Weekly in Italian

Recent Issues