Monday, July 21, 2008

Granita II: Son of Granita, the Coffee Edition (otherwise known as "I make these things look GI-gun-dous!")

...from Wikipedia...

Granita (in Italian also granita siciliana) is a semi-frozen dessert of sugar, water, and flavorings originally from Sicily, although available all over Italy. Related to sorbet and italian ice, in most of Sicily it has a coarser, more crystalline texture. Food writer Jeffrey Steingarten says that "the desired texture seems to vary from city to city" on the island; on the west coast and in Palermo, it is at its chunkiest, and in the east it is nearly as smooth as sorbet. This is largely the result of different freezing techniques: the smoother types are produced in a gelato machine, while the coarser varieties are frozen with only occasional agitation, then scraped or shaved to produce separated crystals.

Considering how far west we are, we Philadelphians actually do prefer our granitas on the coarse side. I certainly do. I like that Capogiro's ice is more chunky, it really differentiates it from any sort of Italian Ice I've ever had.

I think it's safe to assume they are using La Colombe as their base. I really enjoy La Colombe. It's a really solid, bankable coffee. When the Coffee Ice hits my tongue, at first, it's cooling. Since it's water crystals, it's not freezing. My tastebuds are awoken--not numbed--to the roasted flavor of the coffee.

Then comes the whipped cream. Is there anything better than fresh whipped cream. So amazing. I don't know that I have the words for it. Either you like whipped cream and you will certainly love the almost cloudlike characteristics of Capogiro's whipped cream or you are lactose intollerant (like myself) and need to get some pills... now. Honestly, I don't know how anyone can go back to canned whipped cream after having the fresh stuff. Well, I'm sure there are reasons but certainly nothing that is appropriate for a gelato blog.

When you put them together, the whipped cream on top of coffee ice on top of whipped cream on top of coffee ice. The flavors whisp into each other--from the soft of whipped cream into the slight crunch of coffee ice and back to the airy milk. I do not recommend blending the two completely; there is a rhythm as the flavors and textures dialogue.

The Coffee Granita is a fantastic, light, summer treat when you need to be in some air conditioning and eating something tasty.

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