All ice cream is not created equal, according to Jon Snyder, owner of Manhattan's Laboratorio del Gelato (95 Orchard St.; 212/343-9922; www.laboratoriodelgelato.com), a tiny artisanal ice cream shop. Twenty years ago, Snyder, who fell for gelato on a trip to Rome, dropped out of college to open his first ice cream company (New York's Ciao Bella). Today, at his Lower East Side "lab," Snyder toasts almonds, chops mint, and experiments with olive oil, churning out wild flavors like licorice, rice, and kalamansi (a fruit from the Philippines) for 150 restaurants and a new stand at MOMA's sculpture garden. His scoop on where to find the best ice cream in the world?Snyder loves San Crispino (42 Via della Panetteria; 39-06/679-3924; www.ilgelatodisancrispino.com) in Rome: "They make really unique flavors. Their gelato is as good as mine." At Palermo's Le Cremolose (16 Piazza Alberigo Gentili; 39-091/300-292; www.cremolose.it) he tried cashew and raw hazelnut gelato. "In southern Italy, they use less cream, so the gelato is more refreshing," he says. Snyder likes Freddo (multiple locations; www.freddo.com), in Buenos Aires, for its variations on dulce de leche, mixed with pecans, bananas, and plums. He has also heard rumors of amazing ice cream in Russia: "I can't wait to get there."
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