academia barilla  August 2008

Happy Ferragosto (and yummy Summer Dessert Recipe)

There is no better symbol for summer than a watermelon, at least [...]

There is no better symbol for summer than a watermelon, at least in Italy where its sweet and juicy pulp refreshes million of Italians (plus all the tourists) every summer – in July and August you can even buy watermelon by the slice in many public squares and beaches across Italy!

The Italian name for watermelon is anguria, but in Central Italy it is also called cocomero while in the South people calls it melone. No matter the name, everybody loves the juicy watermelon in summertime!


This is why we picked up a very summer-ish recipe for this Ferragosto (the Italian public mid-summer holiday on August 15) which is fresh, easy to prepare, and mostly made out of watermelon.

vissani-italian-cookbookWe browsed the Academia Barilla Gastronomic Library and found a cookbook by Italian celebrity Chef Gianfranco Vissani, “Il Vissani – 400 recipes in 100 menus proposed by Gianfranco Vissani” (2002, RAI Radiotelevisione Italiana Editions).

Our Ferragosto recipe of choice here at Italian Food Lovers definitely is Watermelon Chill with Sugar Grate, a recipe proposed by Chef Vissani and based on the very popular Sicilian summer dessert Gelo di Mellone. Ready? Let’s go to the kitchen!



A recipe by Chef Gianfranco Vissani
(serves 4)

Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes


- 21 oz Watermelon
- 5.3 oz Icing sugar
- 2.8 oz Dark chocolate grains
- 3.5 oz Sugar
- 1 fl oz Water


Using a food processor, blend the watermelon into a fine pulp. Then, slowly mix in the icing sugar.

Distribute the watermelon mix into cups, decorate with the dark chocolate grains and let it store in the fridge until it has reached the right consistence (approximately one hour).


When the watermelon mix is ready, decorate with an abundant amount of icing sugar on top.

To prepare the sugar grinds cook the sugar with water until it reaches a temperature of 200°F. Continue cooking until it has caramelized.

Place the pot into a container filled with cool water in order to stop the cooking process. Then spread the caramel onto parchment paper.

Using a fork, shape some crossed stripes obtaining a grind made of sugar. Put the sugar grind on top of the watermelon chill and serve.

Happy and fresh Ferragosto to all Italian food lovers from our blog team and from the Academia Barilla Gastronomic Library!

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