Wednesday, July 29, 2009

brioche + gelsi = summer

The vote is out, and we have unanimously declared La Posada the winner of the best brioche (not too sweet, but perfectly soft on the inside and browned on the outside) and the best gelsi (mulberry) granita.

Even though only myself and my husband are in on the vote, the fact that we actually agree on this one says a lot. On most subjects we usually have lengthy discussions that can often end in disagreements about all sorts of things, including the preferences of our taste buds. So, the fact that we AGREE on this one should mean a lot to all you granita lovers out there!

La Posada is not a fancy bar, but it is located on the water front in the scogliera zone of Catania. And from the seating area behind the bar you will have a view of the big blue sea as you enjoy your refreshing granita. Along with gelsi, peach and fig can be very tasty, when they are available (often they are not), but skip the non-fruit flavors as they get the thumbs down according to our (not-so-expert) taste buds.

The mulberry is an interesting fruit and not widely eaten in the US as far as I know. At least I had never tried one until I visited Sicily. They grow on beautiful trees, can make a mess of the pavement if the ripe fruit is not picked right away, are similar in appearance to blackberries but are mushier in texture, come in two varieties--white or dark red--but it is the red ones that are sweeter and are used for making granite, and are also wonderful to eat raw, fresh off the tree.

They ripen in June, are picked and sold fresh by street vendors, and are probably frozen to be used throughout the summer to make granita.

In a nut shell, the gelsi granita has become our ultimate summer treat to be enjoyed whenever we can find the time or think of a reason to make a quick getaway to the bar.



  1. So gelsi are mulberries! I'd never eaten them in the U.S. either, but I remember people complaining about the mess mulberry trees made. We have a couple of gelsi here but we're not in the habit of picking them. I'd love to try a gelsi granita, though!

  2. Funny, I wrote a little story about gelsi in my book. I didn't know what they were either when I first started getting gelsi granita. Gelsi e limone insieme! Now that is the perfect granita!!! YUM!!

  3. KC, mulberries are definitely worth tasting! Hope you get down here to Sicily soon! lol

    SofR...thanks for the suggestiong, sounds great, and one of these days I will get a copy of your cookbook and read all about it!

  4. I grew up eating and loving mulberries because my grandparents had a big tree in their yard...lots of sweet memories of stained hands and stained clothes! Never thought of doing anything with them besides eating them straight from the tree and haven't had them in years but can't wait to try them granita-style. I'll have to get specific directions for this spot since you recommend it so highly.

  5. We have mulberry trees on the property here. I eat a few but the cinghiale enjoy most of them once they start to drop. Our trees are old and the trunks have deep crevices and holes in them where trolls could live. In the winter without leaves they look like the scary trees in fairy tales.

  6. There is a mulberry tree across the street from my mom and dad's house in western new york. My cousin and I used to go eat them every summer. Yum! I just got back from a vacation in Sicily. I wish I would have read this before I went. And I wish I had known about the Caravaggio paintings in Messina. Oh well, a reason to go back!

  7. Mmmmmmmmmmm, mulberries! One of my friends growing up had a huge mulberry tree in his backyard. He was Sicilian American like me, so maybe that explains it!

    Anyway, gelsi and limone is the way to go! Btw, gelsi in sicilian is scèvusa just in case you wanted to know how to say it :)


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