One of my criteria when we moved a few years ago was that there was good snowball stand nearby. First world, I know. But I just love snowballs. It’s so ridiculously hot here that some days I see no other alternative. Plus, it’s usually cheaper than a visit to an ice cream shop. I’ve passed this addiction on to my kids, who ask daily to go. I try to keep it to once a week and buy Sno-balls on a stick to tide us over at home (the groom’s cake and nectar cream are SO good).
New Orleanians are nothing if not passionate, especially about our culinary culture. Snowballs here are like nowhere else, and everyone has a favorite stand and flavor. I remember taking my Seattle-born friend for her first snowball; she nearly lost her mind over all the flavors and the soft ice. And she ordered kiwi, the most obscure flavor that turned out to be quite refreshing. Following my own knowledge (I’m a snowball connoisseur, y’all) and recommendations of friends, I set out to taste the best of the best.
Vanilla Orchid Creme and Frozen Mint, Plum Street
Many know and love this Uptown fav, and they are often at many festivals throughout the city. This 72-year-old stand serves theirs in signature white Chinese takeout boxes. If you want to get boozy, add a splash (or two) of bourbon for a frozen mint julep.
Satsuma, Ginger Cayenne and ‘Lasagna Style’, Hansen’s
Best. Ice. Ever. The flavors are not extensive, but it’s quality over quantity here. The satsuma tastes as if you bit into a fresh one. True flavor bombs happenig here. If you’re a condensed milk fan, try it layered ‘lasagna style’ so you get that deliciousness in every bite. Of Hansen’s my friend said, “The ice here is like heaven. I’ll never go anywhere else.”
Robin and Mint Chocolate Chip, Sal’s
This Old Metairie gem boasts homemade syrup with no preservatives, doing so since 1960. They go through 1300 pounds of ice a day! Mix nectar and wedding cake for a Robin or take the popular chocolate to the next level with mint. It’s in a nice area with lots of space (tree stumps included) to enjoy your treat with the family.
Pineapple Mint, Beaucoup Juice
Not your conventional snowball stand, this is a healthy take on the cool dessert. This was such a revelation for me. Finally, a snowball I can feel really good about eating! All natural, fresh fruit juice tops these bad boys.
Cardamom Cream, Imperial Woodpecker
This stand boasts a variety of traditional and totally unique house made flavors. The owner loves snowballs so much she moved back home from NYC for the business.
I Do, Just Chillin’
This Mandeville stand makes their own ice cream, then stuffs the snowballs with it for a variety of concoctions. I Do is wedding cake snowball generously stuffed with white chocolate almond ice cream! They are open year round with outside seating and a giant chalkboard to entertain the kiddos.
Various homemade flavors, Ziggy’s
Another Mandeville gem, this stand boasts a rotating homemade flavor menu. Try the grapefruit basil, lavender honey blueberry or go with a traditional rainbow, every kid’s fav!
What’s your favorite flavor? I’d love to try more!