Best Ways To Beat The Heat: Sno-Balls
We have a couple of months of heat left. Even if you are from New Orleans, you probably still aren’t used to the grueling heat and the humidity that can make it hard to breathe. These conditions are probably the reason why the sno-ball, or sometimes spelled snoball, is one of the Crescent City’s favorite summer treats. It is a delicious treat made with finely shaved ice and flavored cane sugar syrup. Mixed with liquor they can be pretty good as well
It’s All In The Ice
To give the affordable treat its unique taste and consistency the ice needs to be shaved extremely thin making it fine and fluffy. That’s why the ice just melts in your mouth. Some say “the thinner the better,” comparing the ice shavings to snowflakes. Sno-balls sometimes get confused with snow cones. A snow cone’s ice is usually rather coarse, crunchy, and granular.
What’s Your Favorite Flavor?
The list of flavors is limited only by your imagination. Almost anybody we asked came up with a different favorite flavor. Among the more popular flavors appear to be Chocolate, Cherry, Wedding Cake, Vanilla Orchid, Blue Raspberry and Pina Colada. The cane sugar syrup which usually makes the refreshing sno-ball a sweet treat comes in all kinds of flavors and colors. Have you ever had a rainbow one? What about a Chocolate stuffed one with condensed milk on top? We all have a favorite type and sometimes we maybe a little more adventurous and try another flavor like tres leches or sponge-bob.
A Little History
From what we understand, the first sno-ball ice machines in the city were invented in the mid 1930. Before that, shop owners shaved the ice manually, which means it was coarser than what you now know as a sno-ball today. So, whether you head to Casey’s or Sal’s in Metairie or Williams Plum Street Snoballs or Hansen’s in New Orleans, we can only promise that you will enjoy this sweet treat.
5 Popular Sno-Ball Stands
- Sno Wizard Snoball Shoppe is located at 4001 Magazine Street, between Louisiana and Napoleon Avenues, in Uptown New Orleans. In 1936, George J. Ortolano, a grocer, created an ice machine that could transform a block of ice into powder. He made delicious syrups and created snoballs that he sold to customers to bolster sales in his grocery store and the rest is history. (www.snowizardsnoballshop.com)
- Hansen Sno Bliz, located at 4801 Tchoupitoulas Street, between Valence Street and Jefferson Avenue, in Uptown New Orleans, was founded in 1939 by Mary & Ernest Hansen. Ernest developed his own ice shaving machine, while Mary developed recipes for flavorful syrups. They continue to make their own syrups daily, and layer the ice and syrup proportionately. Their granddaughter, Ashley, runs the business today in the same tradition. In 2014, they were named an American Classic by the James Beard Foundation. (www.snobliz.com)
- Plum Street Snoballs, located at 1300 Burdette Street, on the corner of Plum near Tulane University in Uptown New Orleans, originated in 1945. A second location has been opened inside Lafreniere Park at 3000 Downs Boulevard, in Metairie. (Find them on Facebook, or call them at 504.866.7996.)
- Also in Metairie, is Sal’s Sno-ball Stand located at 1823 Metairie Road, near Bonnabel Boulevard in the heart of Old Metairie. They also serve soft-serve ice cream treats. The seating out front, shaded by the old oak trees, makes it a family favorite. (Call them at 504.666.1823.)
- In Mid City, you’ll find Pandora’s Snowballs and Soft-serve Ice Cream, located at 901 N. Carrollton Avenue near City Park.