Okinawa Tourism Information:Strongly-recommendedRICCOGelatowithOkinawanflavor,thetechniqueofmakingwhichisfromItalyanddevelopedinMiyako!

Strongly-recommended RICCO Gelato with Okinawan flavor, the technique of making which is from Italy and developed in Miyako!

post : 2015.07.10 19:00

Tropical fruits grown under the sunshine of Okinawa, freshly-picked herbs cultivated carefully by dedicated farmers, freshly-squeezed milk sterilized at a low temperature in the shop….  Wow, how luxurious this gelato is!  Just hearing about it makes you feel comfortable even in the summer heat. 

Having heard of a gentleman who makes one of the best gelatos in Miyako Island, using his skills and taste trained in Italy, I flew to Miyako Island without hesitation.  A shop I visited is a special Gelateria RICCO Gelato in downtown Miyako-jima City. 

“Even if an ingredient is good, the flavor will go weak and the texture will be like shaved ice after some time.”  Mr. Yutaka Maeno, who was born in Tokyo, makes as much as gelato he can sell for the day every morning, using freshly-harvested ingredients in order for his customers to enjoy his gelato in the most delicious condition.

His commitment lies in his experience of one year and a half visiting and getting a training at different ristorantes in different areas of Italy every three months.  Among all, the most impressive ristorante is a shop in the suburb of Genova.    

The ristorante tries to provide for themselves various of ingredients including from herbs to citrus like lemon they need by growing them in their vegetable garden.  When he saw it as if the kitchen of the ristorante had been directly connected from the fields and the forest, it looked so fresh to Maeno san in those days.

“Tripple” is an assortment of three gelato flavors: “Mango,” which has a perfect balance of rich sweetness of mango and sourness of passion fruit, “Black Red Bean and Milk,” which is made using black-eyed peas grown in Miyako and home-sterilized milk, and “Beniimo (Purple-colored Sweet Potato) of Miyako,” which has a soft sweetness.  The volume is 1.5 times as much as “Single” but the price is just 500 yen!

“Fresh Passion Fruit Soda Float” (600 yen) relieves your fatigue from summer heat with the marriage of the soda made using sweet and sour fresh passion fruit and “Mango” gelato. 

Even after returning to Tokyo from Italy, he could not forget about “kitchen connected with nature” and started looking for a perfect place for that.  After all the travel he made, finally he found the best place here in Miyako Island.

The main reason was the delicious taste of herbs on this island.  He said “The herbs of Miyako has the power of keeping stretching out the smell.”

And another important reason is closeness between people and people as well as between people and nature in Miyako.  The local people get along well with an invisible world and live in a good harmony with gods, which looked very attractive to him.

Mr. Kamimura from Miyazaki Prefecture takes a great care of the health condition of cows with his parents without missing any subtle changes of cows which really hate the summer heat.  “Thanks to him and his parents, I can get a constant good quality of milk.”  The milk of Kamimura san’s has a seal of approval from Maeno san.  

“If I think “Someday I want to use what this person is making,” I don’t know why but I will be connected to his or her product sooner or later.”  Maeno san said “After starting my life here, I have met people I had not known before and agricultural products full of power.”

He does not have to hurry but just wait and relax, and everything he needs will be naturally connected with him. 

Organic mint from “Aiiku Farm” in the southern part of Miyako Island

Miyako has mineral-rich ocean breeze, the strong sunshine, soil that drains well, all of which are suitable for cultivating herbs. 

“I can work thanks to everybody’s feelings.  I don’t mean to give up on my commitment but I think there are not a few people who said good bye to the world where people live with spirits like “I will make a success of any job that I do!” or “I will be a number one!,” and live as the way they like in the conversation with nature.”  Abundant nature, dedicated people, and delicious food…the scale of Miyako Island must be perfect for Maeno san and his business partners. 

Freshly-harvested basil meet freshly-squeezed milk to produce a refreshing flavor.  “Basil” has an adult flavor which you will find better than expected.  (This is sold only from spring to summer.  It is 400 yen for Single.)

When you feel like eating delicious gelato in Okinawa, please come to Miyako Island.  A little different from the gelato you eat in the city, the Ricco Gelato makes you thoroughly feel the blessings of subtropical land. 

Ricco Gelato

Address: 550 Aza-Shimozato, Hirara, Miyako-jima City, Okinawa TEL: 0980-73-851
Opening Hours:11:30 to 22:00
Closed on Tuesdays

Okinawa CLIP Photo Writer  Nobuya Fukuda