Tuesday, October 13, 2015


October 13, 2015

At the conclusion of the Catania/Malta Zone Conference, we took the senior couple from Malta with us and drove a short distance to the town of Acicastello for a granita.  Sicily has the best granitas we've ever tasted and there's a little shop in Acicastello that makes granitas.  We'd been there once before and wanted to try it again.  We weren't disappointed.


Acicastello totals about 19,200 inhabitants. It is a small fishing village in the Eastern coast of Sicily. It is one of nine cities in the area sharing the prefix “Aci”. This shore stretch is particularly rich in lemons – hence often referred to as the “Lemons’ Coast” – agaves and palm trees.

The Castle – Built of black lava stone, this Norman fortress is nestled atop a rocky spur on the sea. This place has been fortified since the Roman Age, when it hosted the Rocca Saturnia. Destroyed on several occasions, it was rebuilt by Tancredi in 1189. Under the Bourbons, around 1787, the castle was used as a prison. A splendid view over the faraglioni and the Lachea island can be enjoyed from its top. The castle houses the small City Museum, collecting archaeological relics and mineral specimens.


Acis and Galatea – Daughter of Nereus, the sea nymph Galatea fell in love with the shepherd Acis, son of God Pan. Unfortunately, she caught the eye of cyclop Polyphemus as well, the enemy of Ulysses. As the nymph rejected him, he, jealous and hatred, killed the young shepherd. Zeus, moved to pity by the pain suffered by the young Nereid, transformed her lover into a river (to-day’s Akis) that flowing towards the sea, the realm of Galatea, enables the two to meet for ever more. 

The nine Aci – According to a legend, the body of the young shepherd killed by Poliphemus was dismembered into nine parts, upon which the nine Aci-cities were built. They are Aci Bonaccorsi, Aci Castello, Aci Catena, Aci Platani, Acireale, Aci S. Filippo, Aci S. Antonio, Aci S. Lucia and Aci Trezza. This stretch of Sicily’s Eastern coastline is also known as the Cyclops’ Coast.

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 Granita (in Italian also granita siciliana) is a semi-frozen dessert made from sugar, water and various flavorings. Originally from Sicily, it is available all over Italy in somewhat different forms. It is related to sorbet and Italian ice; however, 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.[1] 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. Although its texture varies from coarse to smooth, it is always different from the one of an ice cream which is creamier, and from the one of a sorbet, which is more compact; this makes granita distinct and unique.

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President Waddoups is always on call and usually on the phone.

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