The Sicilian Dessert That Will Keep You Cool In The Summer Heat

Along with the arrival of summer, the heat may be too much to handle — even across the world in the boot-shaped country of Italy where there is great food, friendly people, and beautiful architecture.  A Twitter account known as Extreme Temperatures Around The World reports that in the "eternal city of Rome," the temperature reached a historic high of 105.4 F on June 28, 2022. But if you find yourself in Italy during summer, don't sweat it, as there's an array of refreshing Italian desserts that are perfect for keeping you cool. If not, try some of these desserts that will transport you straight to Italy for the time being.

Honest Cooking recommends the creamy and wobbly panna cotta, the half-frozen semifreddo, or fully-frozen creamy gelatos. Let's not forget about the light and airy tiramisu, which literally means "lift me up" (via Italian Balance). However, probably the most refreshing dessert of them all hails from Sicily, the biggest Mediterranean island. This area is famously known for its food, which was influenced by Turkish, Greek, and Arab cuisine (per Vancouver Sun).

Granita, a semi-frozen delight similar to sorbet

This shaved ice dessert is called granita and is often described as "Sicily's take on sorbet" that has a semi-frozen, granular, and creamy texture (via The Culture Trip). Although many Sicilian towns claim that it's their invention, most people agree that Catania is the most probable location of its origin, per American Express Essentials. Along with fruit or fruit juice, Italy Magazine claims that granita can also be made with nuts, sugar, or coffee. Other flavors you can choose from are espresso, lemon, strawberry, mint, almond, pistachio, and kiwi. 

Granita is traditionally made in a large mixer called mantecatore al bastone, making the semi-frozen dessert "as light and fluffy as possible." However, many people use Cook's Illustrated method of scraping the granita with a fork as it freezes to create a similar airy result (via Instagram). And when in Sicily, do as the Sicilians do — for a typical breakfast ritual, make sure to pair the granita with a buttery brioche on the side. Feel free to indulge in a granita at any time of the day, and the dessert will probably alleviate your heat-related issues in no time at all.