Thursday, June 28, 2007

Gelato and Granita around Ragusa

The temperature is raising, and you had a day’s worth of that warm Sicilian sun. There is no better way to cool off and beat the heat than by having a Sicilian gelato. They are often hand-made daily in store, and you're not likely to regret a single calorie after tasting them:


Around Ragusa Ibla, you’ll find many ice cream parlors:

There is Gelati DiVini in Piazza San Giorgio: they have a wide variety of flavors you’ll hardly find elsewhere like wine, quince, carob and cactus pear or fichi d’india (this plant is originary from Mexico, but it has found it’s own dimension in Sicily, becoming part of the island’s distinctive landscape.)

Dolce Barocco has what for me is the the best ice cream around Ibla. Try the “dolce barocco” flavour and you can’t go wrong, it’s a copyrighted recipe made with a mix of carob fruit, hazelnut and almond.

Around the seaside, you’ll find good gelato in Marina di Ragusa around the main square (Piazza Duca degli Abruzzi), La Sorbetteria, Caffè delle Rose and Caffè Roma also known as Pippo Boccadifuoco (Pippo Fire-mouth, a funny last name for someone that sells gelato).

But among the local favorites there’s the Blue Moon Gelateria in Donnalucata, Scicli. They have a wide selection of ice cream flavours (44) and allegedly the best pistachio ice cream to be found. I suggest you try it, legions of fans can't be wrong... Open daily. Via Casmene 1, Donnalucata. Tel: +39-339-114-7033.

Eduardo is a renowned pastry shop in Santa Croce that also has really good ice cream. The ricotta flavour being my favourite here. They also have some of the best profiterols in town. Via Roma 53/55, Santa Croce Camerina. Tel: +39-0932-82-1545.


Granita is not exactly ice cream, it’s a sort of sherbet made of a frozen mix of water, sugar and flavoring. Usually you’ll find coffee, chocolate, pistachio, almond, lemon, strawberry and other fruits.

In an area full of great granita, picking favorites is tough. People will debate over whose are the best, but my personal favorite has to be Mandolfiore in the city of Noto. By all means, try it! The granita is a Sicilian classic, so you shouldn’t leave without at least trying it once.

Pasticceria Mandolfiore: absolutely FANTASTIC granita, by far the best I’ve ever tasted. This is the best kept secret (probably not so secret anymore, since it’s always packed) in the Valle di Noto. You have to walk a little out of the main street to find this place, but it’s really worth it. You’ll find it right across the Carmine Church.

They have a varied assortment of gelato (40 flavours) and granita (15 flavours,) including some creative flavours like peach with basil or cherry tomato with basil that are really good! Ask them to let you taste a few before you order. Almond, ricotta and figs (fichi) flavours are not to be missed. Their pastries are also as good as they seem in the glass display counter.
Via Ducezio 2, Noto, Siracusa – Tel: 0931-836-615

Bar Riviera: this bar in Donnalucata, Scicli has great granita, and it's usually packed in summertime around 5 am with young insomniacs. I recommend the pistachio granita with brioche. Via L. Pirandello 11.