Brighton’s leading gelato maker, Seb Cole of Boho Gelato in Pool Valley, headed to Sicily 2-3 June to participate in the Nivarata festival of granita.
This was Seb’s third visit to represent the UK at the annual celebration of granita and gelato in Acireale near Catania, alongside chefs from across Italy and as far afield as Japan.
Granita is a traditional Italian iced product – similar to sorbet – made purely of water, sugar and natural ingredients that is eaten throughout the day, including for breakfast with a brioche roll. Popular flavours include lemon, coffee, chocolate, almond, strawberry and pistachio.
“I think on our first visit here our hosts thought that an Englishman making granita alongside some of the greatest chefs in Italy would be a bit of a joke”, says Seb. “However we impressed them with our creative flavours and the science of the product I make, and we’ve now been invited back year on year and have made some brilliant friendships”.
“Granita has always been a key product of the Etna region in Sicily”, says Nivarata co-director Tiziana Privitera. “Originally the winter snow would be packed underground to keep cool then throughout the summer brought down the volcano to Acireale and surrounding towns and villages to make the dish. Nivarata is our annual celebration of that tradition, and its good to see so much creativity with young chefs and new recipes and ingredients”.
Alongside a granita made from an IPA beer brewed by local bar Etimue, and an experimental cardamom crema made with eggs, cream and milk that Seb will be reproducing later in the year at Boho Gelato in Brighton.
Seb’s visit was supported by the Brighton & Hove Food and Drink Festival, that has regularly partnered with Nivarata alongside other artisan food festivals across the globe including Passion for Mat in Gothenburg, The Hague Food Festival in the Netherlands, and Dine Out Vancouver in Canada.
“Our global partnerships are the perfect way to showcase the food and wider tourism offering of Brighton and surrounding Sussex to a international markets that otherwise would be hard to reach”, says Nick Mosley, food festival director. “The quality of our chef talent, and supporting producers such as Blackdown Distillery and Ridgeview Wine Estate, never fails to impress our hosts and our growing reciprocal partnerships are testament to that”.