10Best: Ice Cream Around the World

  • slide 1

    Italy - Gelato

    Gelato, Italy's most famous ice cream variety, comes in a variety of flavors and generally has a denser consistency and more potent flavor (but is less creamy) than its American counterpart. When ordering gelato, it's perfectly acceptable to have multiple flavors crammed into a single cone or cup, which makes answering questions like "mango or pistachio?" much easier.

    Photo courtesy of Manuel-F-O/iStock

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    Japan - Ice Cream Mochi

    Japanese dessert lovers have managed to combine a favored local sweet, mochi, and the American favorite ice cream into a single tasty bite. These two-bite-sized morsels are made by stuffing pastel-colored balls of pounded sticky rice with various flavors of ice cream (green tea, anyone?) and coated in a fine white powder.

    Photo courtesy of Honou

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    Argentina - Helado

    If you think Italy has the world's best ice cream, you haven't been to Argentina. Creamy, rich and piled so high on a cone that sticky drips are a constant threat, the ice cream in Argentina comes in multiple flavors, with dulce de leche being a national favorite.

    Photo courtesy of audrey-sel

  • slide 4

    Malaysia - Ais Kacang

    Southeast Asia - Malaysia included - gets mighty hot, and to cool off, locals turn to a take on shaved ice known in Malaysia as ais kacang. A heaping stack of shaved ice gets topped with an often colorful and sometimes bewildering assortment of ingredients - things like grass jelly, sweet corn, palm nuts, diced fruit, aloe vera, condensed milk and a whole host of sweet flavored syrups.

    Photo courtesy of Krista

  • slide 5

    Vermont - Ben & Jerry's

    Ice cream in Vermont isn't so much about a style as it is about a brand ... Ben & Jerry's. While you can find their inventive flavors in grocery stores and ice cream shops throughout the country, the best place to experience a bite of Cherry Garcia, Chunky Monkey or Chubby Hubby is at the source, the factory near Burlington offering daily tours.

    Photo courtesy of Kaitlin

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    Cornwall - Clotted Cream Ice Cream

    Cornwall in England is famous for its clotted cream, made by heating full-fat cow's milk in a steam or water bath and allowing it to cool slowly until cream clots rise to the surface. This high fat cream, when made into ice cream, is about as creamy and deliciously rich as it gets.

    Photo courtesy of Adele Prince

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    Israel - Halva Ice Cream

    For a sweet icy treat in Israel, order a halva ice cream. Halva, a sweet treat made from smashing sesame seeds into a paste and sweetening with honey, seems an ideal ice cream ingredient. Sure enough, during a hot Tel Aviv summer afternoon you'll find locals and tourists alike cooling off with halva ice cream.

    Photo courtesy of Shoshanah

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    Turkey - Dondurma

    Turkey's traditional ice cream, called dondurma, has a characteristic stretchy, taffy-like consistency, and when you take a bite, it's firm and chewy rather than creamy and melty. Vendors selling the confection often put on a show for passers-by, demonstrating the dondurma's amazing ability to stretch and stay on the end of the long stick used to serve it.

    Photo courtesy of Bogentom/iStock Editorial

  • slide 9

    India - Kulfi

    More like a frozen custard than an ice cream, India's kulfi is made from sweetened condensed milk mixed with any number of flavor add-ins. Local favorites you should try: saffron, mango, cardamom or pistachio.

    Photo courtesy of Rolling Okie

  • slide 10

    Germany - Spaghetti-eis

    Be careful what you eat in Germany ... what looks like spaghetti might actually be ice cream. Spaghetti-eis, a creative concoction made from passing vanilla ice cream through a potato ricer and topping it with strawberry sauce and white chocolate shavings, has become a popular novelty dessert in Germany since the 1960s.

    Photo courtesy of Chris Kantos

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    Alaska - Akutaq

    Akutaq, or Eskimo Ice Cream, was traditionally made with animal fat combined with sugar and wild berries. Today, this dessert popular in Alaska comes in many varieties, most made from whipped Crisco combined with blueberries, cranberries, salmonberries, crowberries or cloudberries.

    Photo courtesy of Eric Ellefson

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    USA - Frozen Yogurt

    Born from the American low-fat craze, frozen yogurt is giving traditional ice cream a run for its money as the nation's favorite frozen dessert, as is evidenced by the shops selling fro-yo popping up in pretty much every city from coast to coast.

    Photo courtesy of Jade Sadeghian

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    Italy - Tartufo

    Italy might be most famous for gelato, but that’s certainly not the only style of ice cream to be found in this Mediterranean travel mecca. Tartufo is the Italian word for truffle, and your typical tartufo is made from a ball of vanilla ice cream stuffed with a cherry and ground nuts and dipped in chocolate and either more nuts or chocolate shavings.

    Photo courtesy of Tatiana-Frank/iStock

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    Milwaukee - Frozen Custard

    Milwaukee has become the unofficial frozen custard capital of the world, and every local has his or her favorite custard stand. While it looks a lot like ice cream, frozen custard is made from cream and egg yolks, and is typically denser than normal ice cream.

    Photo courtesy of Ben Husmann


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