A favorite summer activity is discovering the best sno-ball stands in the city with my two sons.
Everyone has their favorite. Fruity? Cream flavored? Or the ever-popular chocolate? Everyone has their favorite sno-ball flavor. Some top it with condensed milk; others stuff it with ice cream; and others choose to stick with a classic and take theirs completely plain.
Here in New Orleans, we take pride in our sno-balls. It’s not shaved ice or a sno cone; it’s a sno-ball, and any native New Orleanian will be quick to correct you if you try to call it by any other name. Our city has tons of popular sno-ball stands, and it’s one of my family’s favorite conquests to try each one. One of the things I’ve enjoyed most over the summers is sampling sno-ball stands with my two sons.
We live in Metairie, and we frequent the ever-so-quaint Sal’s Sno-Ball Stand on Metairie Road. There is something about sitting on those logs where I once sat in my uniform after school — and now being able to sit on those same logs with my sons. It’s always a fun time reading over the enormous list of flavors with them. While I’m secretly hoping they choose a clear flavor (I have fought one too many sno-ball stains!), it’s entertaining to see what they will pick.
Spearmint, grape, cherry … I could go on with the flavors that my oldest son Noah mixes in his sno-ball. While I just don’t think a half spearmint and cherry sno-ball would be delicious, he just takes another icy spoonful down with a toothless smile. For my youngest son, I can still choose a flavor for him (for the most part) — but he has started to insist on his favorite flavor, which is ultimately strawberry.
So after we decide on our flavors, we sit on those logs just like I did years before as a young girl. While Noah’s sno-ball looks very unappealing due to the mixing of colors, all I can do is just smile. I’m most certain my mom did the same thing when I would order rainbow, which I’m sure resembled a similar color after just a few scoops. My 3 year-old Liam is still not the best self feeder, and he drops a scoop of strawberry sno-ball on his shirt. Oh well, this will be his sno-ball shirt of the summer.
My oldest son Noah and I went to Hansen’s Sno-Bliz shortly after it opened this season. Can you believe that this is one sno-ball stand that I’ve personally never visited? This was our first conquest this year of sno-ball stands, and it was on the very top of the list of stands that we just had to try out. We took advantage of Noah being out of school and went to Hansen’s as soon as it opened.
Much to our surprise, there was already a full line out of the building! Even though it was only April, we were sweating from that awful NOLA humidity after waiting in line for just a few short minutes. One by one, we saw happy customers leave with their sno-ball in Hansen’s signature take-out cups. Noah and I kept on trying to guess the names of the flavors, and we even asked a patron or two what flavors they chose.
While I’ve done my own research on flavors, I knew just what I wanted. I opted for the tangy satsuma and the nectar cream. One side tart and the other side sweet — the perfect combo. After much debate, Noah decided on bubble gum. We then decided to take a seat on one of the benches outside and chat, while eating our sno-balls. While I know he is enjoying his icy treat, it means so much more to me. Each summer I look forward to sno-balls with my sons. Which sno-ball stand should we try next? I hope this tradition continues for years to come. I’ll for sure be looking forward to it … sno-ball stains and all!