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Gelo di Melone|watermelon jelly

Pragmatic recipe
gelo di melone, a typical Sicilian summer dessert

Gelo di Melone

Gelo is one of the most peculiar and emblematic Sicilian preparations. Watermelon grows abundantly in summer. And making it in to jelly stretches the life time of watermelon.
It is served with jasmine flowers and chocolate chips. A must when visiting Sicily in summertime

  • Prep Time 20 Minutes
  • Cook Time 15 Minutes
  • Total Time 35 Minutes
  • Serves 4 People
  • Calories 400 kcal


  • 4 kg of watermelon
  • 100g of sugar
  • 80g of corn startch
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 20g of chocolate chips


  1. Remove the outer skin and cut the flesh in chunks
  2. Remove the seeds
  3. Pass the chunks in a vegetable mill
  4. Filter the juice
  5. Dissolve the cornstarch in a cup of juice
  6. Heat the rest of the juice, sugar and the cinnamon in a large pot
  7. Add the cup with cornstarch and mix
  8. Let the juice boil for about 10 minutes, never stop stirring
  9. Transfer the liquid in a serving bowl and let it cool down
  10. Garnish with chocolate chips


Gelo di melone is an easy recipe. It has few ingredients and hence few variations. You may want to add more starch when using the jelly for pastry. The amount of sugar is variable. More sugar than mentioned above jeopardizes the taste of watermelon. It is possible to replace sugar with honey. In Palermo people garnish the jelly with jasmine flowers. Some pick them the day before and use the water in the preparation. An other popular topping are pistachio nuts.The four kilos mentioned in the recipe correspond with one liter of juice. One could use the juice of other melons. Due to the starch the gelo is opaque. Translucence is part of the dessert. It is important to dissolve the starch before adding it to the liquid. Lumps are not welcome.Although there is no good reason for it, gelatin leaves create a transparent jelly.

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