In case you hadn’t heard, New Orleans does tend to get a little warm in the summer. But fear not, for we New Orleanians are a resourceful people – we’re problem solvers. So as spring sets in, and the temperatures begin their upward climb, we turn to a trusted beacon of hope to cool us down – the snowball stand. Welcome to Snowball Season, ladies and gents.
Now for those of you unfamiliar with the snowball, let me first make one thing VERY clear. The snowball is not a snow cone. In the familial hierarchy of frosty delights, the snow cone is like the weird, entirely uninteresting, unapproachable and altogether forgettable distant cousin – by marriage, of course – of the snowball. The snowball and the snow cone share no genetic similarity. Their only common ground is that they are both cold and they both are a vessel for flavored syrup.
But that’s where it ends.
Snowballs, unlike their rock hard counterparts, are velvety smooth. They dissolve on your tongue in an instant, leaving behind a burst of flavor that snow cones didn’t even know existed. Think Satsuma, Strawberry Shortcake or Nectar Cream.
Snowballs are, for lack of a better word, pretty boss.
But even a seasoned snowball connoisseur can become overwhelmed by the sheer multitude of flavor options offered at each of the stands. Do you go for standard ice cream or cream of ice cream? Frozen Mint or spearmint? And what the hell is Rocket “88”? (Plum Street – I’m talkin’ to you).
Well fear not, snowball novice, we’ve got your back. Here are our top five picks for the snowball flavors – and where to get them.
1. Frozen Mint from Plum Street Snoball – While I have friends who still swear by spearmint, it’s my opinion that if you’re going to go minty with your snowball, frozen mint is the way to go. Less jarring than other varieties of mint, frozen mint is delicately dreamy – almost like the filling of an Andes mint. And if you’re looking to add a little sauce to your snowball, mix in a bit of bourbon, and you’ve got the world’s most decadent frozen mint julep. Plum Street Snoball is located at 1300 Burdette Street and can be reached at 504-866-7996.
2. Satsuma from Hansen’s – Subtle in its sweetness with the perfect pinch of tart, Hansen’s Satsuma is nothing short of perfection. It’s as good unadorned as it is drizzled with condensed milk, and it’s just as refreshing and delicious as biting into an actual satsuma. Hansen’s is located at 4801 Tchoupitoulas St. and can be reached at 504-891-9788.
3. Ice Cream from Plum Street Snoball – Ice Cream is one of my favorite go-to flavors at any snowball stand at any location throughout the city. As ambiguous a flavor designation as ice cream is, in the world of snowball, it means only one thing – a bright yellow, hyper-intense sugary vanilla with hints of birthday cake batter. Try the standard syrup version at Plum Street and top it off with condensed milk for an extra punch of sugar shock.
4. Wedding Cake from Pandora’s – Pandora’s Wedding Cake flavor is as white, fluffy and decadent as the real deal. Feeling extra indulgent? Then ask for it “stuffed” with creamy, delicious soft-serve ice cream – it’s pure heaven. Pandora’s is located at 901 N. Carrollton Ave. and can be reached at 504-486-8644.
5. Cream of Coffee from Hansen’s – In a world full of frozen coffee drinks, you could assume that a coffee snowball would simply fall in line with your standard coffee shop offerings. But in the case of Hansen’s Cream of Coffee, you would be wrong. It’s deep and silky smooth, and sweet without being overwhelming – the love child of the world’s best iced coffee and the world’s most perfect snowball.