Snowballs or Sno Balls:
The basic definition is simply Shaved Ice covered in various Flavored Syrups. While this is an apt definition, it hardly begins to convey the pure joyousness of New Orleans Style Snowballs.
For myself having a snowball is much like consuming a childhood memory. Steamy hot summer days spent running around the neighborhood with my cousins and friends. Then dashing home to convince the closest adult; Mom, Dad, Granny or Ampa (Short for Grandpa, for some reason we could not pronounce the G in GrandPa) to take us to get snowballs! Truthfully it was never really that difficult. A few “Please, Please, Please” while jumping up and down feigning desperate thirst and we were on the way.
One of the best things about Snowballs is that I could order exactly what I wanted. Sometimes would keep it simple and only order one flavor but could mix and match to my heart’s content. My favorite combo was Strawberry, Black Cherry and Bubble Gum which I have personally dubbed the Trifecta. Of course everyone had their own favorites.
Once ordered there was no getting back in the car we wanted our treat immediately. Usually us children sat on the grass while the Grown-ups occupied the picnic style tables. Then we would relax and savor our sweet frozen masterpieces.
Careful, there is a trick to eating snowballs without getting the dreaded brain freeze. First you begin to consume the “ice burg”. That is flavored ice peeking out of the top of the cup. Then it was slurp, swirl and swoop. Slurp the excess syrup, but not too much, then you swirl the remaining concoction with the spoon or straw the object of both is to keep the shaved ice to syrup ratio even. Then at the end just a little of the ice and syrup remains at the bottom so you up end the cup, tap the bottom and suck the remainder into your mouth. If done correctly should sound like SWOOP.
I really miss the New Orleans of my childhood. In a way it is a New Orleans that does not really exist anymore thanks to Katrina. Perhaps that is why snowballs have increased in their importance not just to myself but to all of us who can remember those wonderful bygone summer days. That is why I am committed to helping others create new summer memories, one glorious snowball at time.