Italian ice

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

  • About

Italian ice is a term that encompasses sorbetto, granita, and slush. Water ices rather than ice creams, they differ in texture but are all made with water, sugar or sugar syrup, and fruit or other flavorings, and are frozen to a nice cold slush rather than a hard block. A granita, usually of coffee or lemon, is a mixture of sugar syrup and a flavored liquid, with a lower ratio of sugar to liquid that causes it to freeze into shards or solid crystals after the freezing mass is broken up with a stout kitchen fork. Slush is also a water ice, frozen to a softer, slushier consistency. Sorbetto, or sorbet, is usually churned and frozen to a smoother, more compact texture. See sherbet. In More Classic Italian Cooking (1978), Marcella Hazan writes that “an Italian ice is the most refreshing way to bring anything to a close—a rich and complex meal, a day in the sun, a happy evening with friends.”