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Jul 3, 2007 10:43 AM

New Orleans Snoballs?

Anybody know where to get New Orleans style Snoballs in the area? I think they are also called Hawaiian snoballs. The ice is super-super soft, and just melts in your mouth. Craving some w/ the hot weather lately.

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  1. You had to ask that, didn't you? No. It doesn't exist. Been looking for decades and so have my kids and everybody else I know from New Orleans.
    I'd love to get in my car and drive to Hansen's for a Sno-Blitz or over to Plum Street or any corner snow ball stand in the Crescent City. They just don't have them here.
    Closest thing I've found lately is the Philadelphia Water Ice at the Philly Cheesesteak Factory at 1204 H Street, NE. Love the lemon flavor but I'd really love a big old nectar snow ball...

    9 Replies
    1. re: MakingSense

      Snowballs are available in the Baltimore area.

      1. re: Hal Laurent

        Here's a 1996 article about snow balls in Baltimore in which the author takes a gratuitous slap at snoballs in New Orleans

        From the description in Wiki, it doesn't sound like your Baltimore version is similar to the New Orleans snoball.
        The ones in NOLA are like Hawaiian shave ice, very fine ice, almost like snow. Ernest Hansen invented his magic machine back in the '30s and that's what is used by neighborhood stands in So. Louisiana.

      2. re: MakingSense

        Unless I'm mistaken, what you're looking for is "Hawaiian shaved ice", more the texture of frost than one finds in the usual sno-kone.

        Does that help anyone suggest anything?

        1. re: wayne keyser

          Yes, Hawaiian shave ice is similar to New Orleans snoballs. That's what ChoppinBoccoli, the OP is looking for. There are a whole group of flavors peculiar to NOLA, different from HSI. Different cultural preferences obviously.
          Both are similar to powder snow that falls in dry conditions in winter. No granular ice like snow cones. My kids always put baking pans out in the garden when we have snow "storms" such as they are in Washington and use snoball syrup that I bring up from NOLA but we haven't found a way to make them in Summer when they really, really want snoballs.

          1. re: MakingSense

            When I was young, some kids down the street from me ran a snowball stand. Their first year or two they used a hand shaver on a block of ice, probably producing something like you're talking about. After a few years they bought an electric ice crusher, and produced snowballs more like what are probably more common in Baltimore nowadays.

            For some reason, as an adult I don't seem to crave snowballs much anymore, so I don't know what type is commonly available around here these days.

            1. re: MakingSense

              Go to your local Asian market and get an ice shaving machine from them, generally in the $20 range and in a cute animal shape. It uses a razor blade to make a fine frosty shave from a disk of ice that you freeze in supplied cups. One block of ice will make 2 portions or so. I think ours hails from the now defunct Lucky World in Falls Church.

              Or get one from Target:

              Or you can go the expensive route:

            2. re: wayne keyser

              OK, if you are looking for Shaved Ice you definitely need to check out clayboy's. Then there is Jed's - its a shaved ice stand at the corner of Glen Road and Travilah Road in Potomac. There's Fred - his stand is in an ice cream truck that drives around. During the school year he is outside of the schools in Potomac, but during the summer I'm not sure of his schedule. Clayboy's is outside of the Barnes and Noble in Bethesda, and is outside of Bullis Academy on Falls Road in Potomac at 3PM when camp lets out.

              According to my 14 year old daughter who is a big fan of shaved ice, Clayboy's is the best.

              1. re: Linda513

                I've tried the shaved ice from Clayboy''s definitely the most similiar to Hawaiian ice that I've had in the area. The only downside is that the flavors only offered are the syrupy flavors.

          2. I've never had a new orleans snoball, but is it anything like Clayboy's? There is a clayboy's cart outside of Barnes and Noble in Bethesda.

            1. I haven't found New Orleans style snoballs outside of N.O, where I grew up. Back in the day, the best order was a chocolate snoball topped with condensed milk! Can't have all those calories any more, but it was delicious!

              6 Replies
              1. re: dcandohio

                How disappointing. Snoballs are basically the greatest (and simplest) treat in the summer. Well, if there are any entrepreneurs out there, please get started on this project. I'm sure you'd make a bundle.

                by the way--i've since had these snoballs in lots of places around the country, including numerous places in Texas. can't believe it hasn't found it's way up the East Coast yet...

                1. re: ChoppinBroccoli

                  The place at Falls Road and Joppa Road has the texture you are looking for. My wife who was the "snowball lady" in the 1960's at the site of the current Harryman House in Reisterstown recommends sour cherry and sour lemon there. She can still recite a list of her 20 flavors or so in under 10 seconds. There is also a list of tropical flavors that you might like. I'll have to ask if Chocolate with marshmallow is like NOLA's chocolate with cream. I am not a connouiseur of snowballs although I especially like the soft snow at this site.

                  1. re: baltimorejim

                    Great lead. Thanks. Googled and found the following article about the place:

                    1. re: baltimorejim

                      I looked up the location w/ google maps. Unfortunately, it's on the Northern tip of Baltimore, and I live in D.C., so it'd be quite a hike. But, if it's the real deal it might be worth a trip some wkd.

                      1. re: ChoppinBroccoli

                        I think there's a Snoasis in downtown Baltimore too, on Fort Ave right across from the shopping center. At least the sign looks the same, I've never actually been to it.

                        But the one in Timonium has very, very smooth ice, like snow, not granular at all and tons of flavors, but I'm pretty sure they're all from syrups - I'm not sure exactly what kind of flavors they use in NOLA. They are super delicious though :)

                        Baltimore has so many snoball stands, there have got to be that have the shaved iced kind that might be south of the city.

                        1. re: pigtowner

                          This is sounding promising. The NOLA snoball starts with finely shaved ice and the syrup is poured over it. Most of the syrups are pretty dang sweet, lots of local flavors but some pretty generic like strawberry, lemon and spearmint. Some have cream in them. Some stands add condensed milk to snoballs but never marshmallow which is apparently a Charm City specialty. There are a few places which will embed a scoop of ice cream in the middle of the shaved ice.

                2. There's a kiosk at the Landmark mall (I395 & Duke St, Alexandria) that might have what you're looking for. It's on the 2nd floor not far from the center escalators. I watched as one was being made and the base indeed looked very light and fine.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: MikeR

                    The whole deal with New Orleans Snoballs, primarily, is the ice. Mr. Hansen (I live around the corner from Hansen's) invented a machine that is still in operation today (it has been sharpened all of one time in it's history-it's quite a piece of engineering). Another company here in town, SnoWizard, makes a model that is pretty much the standard all around town. The flavors, however, are another matter. In New Orleans you have Hansen's, which makes all of it's syrups and flavors from scratch (Ashley, their grandaughter, has taken over the business since their deaths right after the storm), is my go to place, but there are several other great ones in town, Plum Street especially. As for out of town snoballs, they can't even get it right in Destin (which in the summertime is like New Orleans/FLA), so I wouldn't hold out for Baltimore. One suggestion that I might have is to look up SnoWizard on the web and see if they have placed machines in Baltimore and if they will tell you where they might be. Good luck. On the other hand, you could just come down here and have one. The heat's up and we have now gone into cheap hotel and restaurant season.

                    1. re: Hadacol

                      I don't know if he still does is. But at the Savage, Md. exit off 95 there used to be a guy with a italian ice truck/stand. Last time we were there we got honeydew melon and watermelon. It was the best flavored ice I've ever had.

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