Gelato Di Riso: The Hill’s Favorite Spot for a Summer Cool Down
Larry and Maureen Fuse have owned Gelato Di Riso for eight years, but the quaint Italian shop has been in business on The Hill for much longer. The gelateria is one of the few places to find the Italian delicacy in St. Louis, and the product is made with such care and attention to detail that it immediately transports you to a European street corner. When the Fuse family bought the shop from founder Susie Reis, they didn’t alter her tried-and-true recipes in the slightest; she still comes in to help once a week.
The popular Italian dessert is made with whole milk and fresh fruit and ingredients, which creates a denser, creamier product than ice cream or frozen yogurt. Regular ice cream is made from frozen cream and sugar, while Gelato Di Riso uses a flavor base imported from Italy mixed with a blend of sugar and fresh ingredients (like fruit, chocolate or cookies) that is simmered over low heat to enhance its flavor.
Guests walk into the shop in the heart of The Hill and order their dessert morning, noon and night, in sizes ranging from bambino to grande, with decadent flavor options such as biscotti crunch, cherries and cream, toasted almond, salted caramel and seasonal flavors like blood orange. Summer is the height of fresh fruit flavors; in the fall, Gelato Di Riso offers favorites like cinnamon and pumpkin, in keeping with its mission to use seasonal ingredients and offer new flavors every few months.
The menu also includes baked goods like scones, cannoli, cookies and brownies, plus coffees, tea, hot chocolate and the wonderful contrasts of an affogato (a scoop of vanilla gelato “drowned” in espresso).
Larry Fuse was born and raised in The Hill and grew up working in restaurants surrounding the gelato shop. He opened Lorenzo’s Trattoria, a northern Italian bistro, 20 years ago and was one of the first to buy Reis’ gelato wholesale and sell it at his restaurant. The family still owns and operates the gelato shop and offers a gelato cart for events, parties and weddings.
Images courtesy of Gelato Di Riso.