The delicious summertime treat called the snoball finds its origins in New Orleans around the 1930s. Different from its cousin the snow cone, this shaved-to-order, frozen treat’s distinction comes from the ice that absorbs the flavored syrup rather than let it sink to the bottom. The homemade syrups are another distinction between the generations-old stand found on every corner in New Orleans neighborhoods.
This seasonal favorite finds its home here in the Bayou Region as well. Every stand has its best sellers and all get bonus points for originality in the flavors’ names and color schemes.
Brooke Hyde of Brooke’s Sno-World, with locations in Houma and Thibodaux, breaks down for us what makes a snoball, particularly one from her business, the very best.
The Ice – “The type of ice and the method in which it is shaved is very important. Our ice is very special. We sharpen our blades once a month so that makes the ice very fine. You also want a dry block. We get our ice from Slo-Melt in Bourg and go through 400-500 blocks of ice in one week.”
The Syrup – “We use specialty ingredients and formulas to create our syrups here in house. We currently have over 140 flavors. We are always mixing it up and trying new flavors and combinations. This week we are featuring a combination called Brooke’s Breeze, named by a customer in a Facebook contest!”
Stuffed – “To add a little more decadence to the already sugary-sweet concoction, you can stuff a snoball with soft serve ice cream or sweet condensed milk. We use a Pet milk and condensed milk combination that customers have been known to purchase by the gallon!”
Toppings – “While far from traditional, candy and fresh fruit toppings add a delicious and often themed punch to your favorite syrup flavor. Popular toppings in our area include gummy worms, whipped cream and sprinkles, and loads of fresh fruit. We brought in a Candy Crush snowball this summer, a lot of sour flavors and sour candies on top. Four different types of sour candy: sour gummy rings, sour octopus, sour worms, and sour strips.”
The Favorites for all ages – “The most popular flavor for adults is nectar cream and candy crush for the kids. Our most classic snowball flavor is coconut. Kids want the character flavors! They want Star Wars, The Incredibles…whatever character is popular. They love what they look like more than the actual flavor! It can be as simple as strawberry, but add whipped cream and sprinkles and they love it. We also sell a lot of the straight pickle juice snoball. We even put a pickle spear inside!”
For Brooke’s Sno-World, summertime is the best time! From the first warm spell through at least September, her businesses are busy. Her current summer hours are 9 a.m. – 10 p.m. Once school is back in session, the locations will close an hour earlier at 9 p.m.
“I have 24 employees in the Houma location,” shares Brooke about the booming business. “We are blessed and having a great year. We have 11 employees per shift. We are about efficiency. We have iPads that we go out and take orders with so that when you drive around, your order is fresh and ready. We have a high demand that we have to meet in a very short time. We want to create a memorable experience.” •