Toronto·Suresh Doss

Futura Granita's gelato and granitas are 'refreshing and exploding with fruit flavour'

Futura Granita is a minimalist frozen dessert counter that specializes in gelato and seasonal Italian granitas.

Futura Granita is located at 964 St Clair Ave. W. in Toronto

A mango granita made by Futura Granita. (Suresh Doss)

Have you taken a walk along St. Clair West recently? 

If not, change that this summer. Take the subway to St. Clair West station and walk westward. 

That's where you can find Futura Granita, a minimalist frozen dessert counter that specializes in gelato and seasonal granitas. It's owned and operated by husband-and-wife team Carlo Diano and Lois Kim.

The shop is open year-round and features an assortment of small batch gelato, but it's the seasonal granita menu that Diano and Kim pour their focus into.

Futura Granita serves up traditional southern Italian semi-frozen desserts. 1:04

Granita is a semi-frozen treat commonly found in southern parts of Italy, notably Sicily. In its traditional form it's a simple mixture of fruit flavouring, water and sugar.

"Some of the simplest granita you'll find in Italy is all about the fruit. The essence of the fruit," Diano said.

While staying true to the classic Italian flavours like lemon and almond, Diano's and Kim's menu really shines with their experimental flavours.

Futura Granita husband-and-wife co-owners Carlo Diano, left, and Lois Kim. (Suresh Doss)

Right now on the menu there's a watermelon granita.

"We add a little organic mint tea to the watermelon blend. It gives it a nice complement to the sweet fruit," Diano explained.

A watermelon granita.

The watermelon and tea gets blended with sugar before it's added to the granita machine. A coral-coloured mixture then pours out of the machine.

A look at the prep that goes into Futura Granita's semi-frozen desserts. (Suresh Doss)

The mixture is quickly poured into the tin and Diano works fast to fold in the mixture with a spatula. The texture changes in seconds, looking smoother with each brush of the spatula. Unlike your conventional ice cream parlours where the full spectrum of flavours and colours are on display, at Futura Granita the room is minimally dressed.

A strawberry granita scooped into a cup. (Suresh Doss)

Granita is an incredibly sensitive product to temperature and light, so products are stored in metal tins and submerged in a custom-fridge.

At Futura Granita, the kind of granita you should expect is a creamy and silky product, similar to what you'd find on the east coast.

"My family is from Siderno, this is how I remember it from all the trips I would take," Diano said.

A lemon granita. (Suresh Doss)

Unlike gelato, the granita experience is a refreshing one, exploding with fruit first, providing respite from a sun-scorched day.

"The beauty of granita really is in its simplicity, the fruit should jump out at you. We try to respect that while making some subtle tweaks," Diano said as he scooped a cup of the house specialty, the classic lemon granita.

About the Author

Suresh Doss is a Toronto-based food writer. He joins CBC Radio's Metro Morning as a weekly food columnist. Currently, Doss is the print editor for Foodism Toronto magazine and regularly contributes to Toronto Life, the Globe and Mail and Eater National. Doss regularly runs food tours throughout the GTA, aimed at highlighting its multicultural pockets.

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