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What's the difference between ice cream, gelato and frozen custard? Scroll down the the bottom of this page to find out.

ice cream

What makes Cincinnati-based Graeter's so special? It is ultra-dense. Whereas a normal pint of ice cream contains a lot of air and can weigh just 8 ounces, a pint of Graeter's weighs in at nearly twice that. They use a French Pot method to spin all the air out of the ice cream. It's egg custard-based, so it's ultra rich. Everybody has their favorite flavor: "The butter pecan is Stedman's favorite, and mine, too" says Oprah.

Jeni's Ice Creams
Jeni is a believer in using fresh, local produce in her inventive, small-batch ice creams, sorbets and yogurts made in Columbus, Ohio. Sweet Basil Ice Cream with Honey and Pinenuts, Thai Chili and Candied Beet and Mascarpone Ice Cream with Honey and Orange Zest are some of her more unusual offerings.

Capogiro Gelato Artisans
Using produce grown locally in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, the Reitanos, a Philadelphia-based husband-and-wife team, whip up small daily batches of gelato and sorbetto based on what's in season at the moment. Flavors range from the classic (Italian Chocolate Chip, Hazelnut) to the exotic (Sicilian Blood Orange, Mexican Chocolate with Ancho Chiles, Meyer Lemon with Vodka).

Ciao Bella Gelato
New York-based gelato chain. Its Blood Orange Sorbet won the 2006 NASFT Award for Best Dessert (NASFT is like the Academy Awards for gourmet foods).

Design your own ice cream or gelato from their vast library of flavors and mix-ins. Rachael Ray created her very own "Izzy's Pick Me Up" flavor. Named after her dog, it contains coffee gelato with chocolate chunks and pistachios.

Mashti Malone's
Los Angeles' most talked about ice cream parlor puts a Middle Eastern spin on America's favorite dessert with flavors such as Orange Blossom, and Rosewater saffron with pistachios.

Il Laboratorio del Gelato - Small-batch gelato from Manhattan's Lower East Side. Phone and email orders only.

Variations on Ice Cream:

Frozen Custard - Similar to regular ice cream, but with the addition of egg yolks, which make it extra rich. Another important difference - while regular ice cream is usually pumped full of air, frozen custard contains no air, making it much denser. Premium "ice creams" such as Häagen Dazs are technically frozen custards because they use egg yolks and contain less air. Frozen custard is also known as French ice cream.

Gelato - This is Italy's version of ice cream, but since it is whole milk-based, not cream-based, it has less fat and is somewhat softer than regular ice cream. Gelato also contains less air than regular ice cream.

Sorbet (sor-bay) - Typically made from just three ingredients: fruit puree, sugar and water. A bit slushier in consistency than ice cream. Unlike regular ice cream, sorbet is dairy, cholesterol and fat free.

Granita (grah-nee-tah) - Flavored, shaved ice.