Another spring has arrived in New Orleans, and accompanying it is the return of the snowball. Traditionally, snowball stands are open from March until the end of October, effectively going into hibernation for the winter. Dozens upon dozens of flavors find their way into sugary (and some sugar-free) syrups which are then liberally drizzled upon finely ground ice. The most popular flavors include strawberry, banana, and bubble gum, but some more interesting flavors can also be found. Learn about 5 interesting snowballs available across the city during snowball season.
1. Cardamom Snowball from Hansen’s
The cardamom snowball at Hansen’s Sno-Bliz gets points for originality. Cardamom is a spice endemic to South Asia that is used the world over in cooking. The cardamom snowball is white in color with small brown flecks of cardamom. The syrup is house-made at Hansen’s, and the spice lends a warm, sweet flavor that plays well against the snowball’s icy texture. If you are looking for more of a savory snowball, try the cardamom.
2. Ginger-Cayenne Snowball from Hansen’s
The ginger-cayenne snowball, also from Hansen’s, is not likely to be found in other snowball stands. Developed by owner Sarah Hansen, it contrasts more traditional flavors to delightful effect. The ginger-cayenne snowball looks very similar to the cardamom, but has a spicy kick thanks to the cayenne pepper, which appears as small reddish flecks throughout the snowball. Hansen’s is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 1-7 p.m.
3. All-Natural Strawberry Snowball from Corner Muse
The strawberry snowball from Corner Muse sounds quite ordinary. What sets it apart, however, is that it is a fresher, healthier option than many of the strawberry-flavored snowballs you’ll find elsewhere. The strawberry syrup is made by owner Vanessa Fernandez by boiling fresh strawberries overnight and adding a touch of sugar. Using Sno-Wizard ground ice, Fernandez douses each snowball liberally with the fresh, homemade syrup. Corner Muse is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
4. Pandora’s Sky Blue Cream snowball
The Sky Blue Cream snowball from Pandora’s Snowballs is, as the name gives away, a cream-flavored snowball. One of Pandora’s newer snowballs, its taste is reminiscent of wedding cake and cotton candy combined. This one will turn your mouth blue, but it will be worth it. Pandora’s is open daily from 12-7 p.m.
5. Lemon Basil Snowball from Piety Street
The Lemon Basil snowball from Piety Street Sno-Balls is the perfect flavor for snowball season. Co-owner David Rebeck identifies it as one of the stand’s most interesting flavors. The Lemon Basil snowball, one of Piety’s all-natural flavors, is made from homemade basil syrup and lemon juice. Piety Street Sno-Balls will be opening for the season on Saturday, March 28. Its hours will be Tuesday through Sunday from 12-7 p.m.
Starting April 9 as part of French Quarter Festival, Plum Street Snoballs will serve all their flavors with the option to add a boozy kick via Chambord liqueur, Herradura tequila, Jack Daniel’s whiskey, Southern Comfort Caramel liqueur, and more.
If you have a furry friend by your side, they can enjoy a snowball too. Piety Street Sno-Balls is among one of a handful of stands that offers snowballs for dogs. Pets can savor chicken- and beef-flavored stock drizzled atop finely ground ice and served in a banana boat dish.