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Hansens Sno-Bliz 2010.JPG
A sno-ball from Hansen's Sno-Bliz in New Orleans
TypeFrozen dessert
Place of originUnited States
Region or stateNew Orleans, Louisiana
Created byErnest Hansen
Main ingredientsWater, cane syrup, flavoring

A sno-ball is a New Orleans confection made with finely shaved ice and flavored cane sugar syrup. Commonly confused with the snow cone, the ice of a sno-ball is fine and fluffy; while a snow cone's ice is coarse, crunchy, and granular. Moreover, in a snow cone the flavored syrup sinks to the bottom of the cup; while in a sno-ball the ice absorbs the syrup.

Sno-balls are a seasonal treat as they are generally sold only from roughly March to October, but Sno-La Snowballs is open year round. They are vended from "sno-ball stands" throughout New Orleans and in other parts of Louisiana and Mississippi.[1]


Before the 1930s ice was manually scraped from a block of ice, producing a coarser, crunchier version of the sno-ball. In 1933, Ernest Hansen began work on an ice-shaving machine; and by 1934, he had invented the first motor-driven ice-shaving machine. For two years, Hansen kept the machine within his family, making sno-balls for only his children and relatives. In 1936, Ernest and his wife Mary took their machine to the streets of New Orleans and opened Hansen's Sno-Bliz. The business ran discontinuously for the following two years because Mary needed to care for her children. In 1939, they opened the shop and remained in business for the next 67 years.[2][3]

By this time, grocer George Ortolano had invented his own ice-shaving machine, which he later called the Sno-Wizard. Ortolano redeveloped his wooden machine into one made of galvanized metal after he began receiving requests from people who wanted to use his machine to start their own businesses. Soon thereafter, he drew up blueprints for his machine and set his product into automated production.[4] Ortolano's Sno-Wizards are now the primary sno-ball machines used in Louisiana and throughout the Gulf Coast.[1]


The following list contains many of the sno-ball flavors available at sno-ball stands around New Orleans.

  • Almond
  • Banana
  • Blue Bubble Gum
  • Blueberry
  • Blue Raspberry
  • Buttered popcorn [1]
  • Cake batter [1]
  • Cherry
  • Chocolate [1]
  • Coconut
  • Coffee
  • Cotton Candy
  • Cream soda
  • Creamsicle
  • Daiquiri
  • French vanilla
  • Grape
  • Ice cream
  • Key lime pie [1]
  • King cake [1]
  • Kiwi
  • Lemon [1]
  • Margarita
  • Nectar
  • Orange
  • Orchid cream vanilla
  • Peach
  • Peanut butter [1]
  • Piña colada
  • Pineapple
  • Raspberry
  • Rocket 88
  • Root beer
  • Silver fox
  • Spearmint
  • Strawberry [1]
  • Tamarind [1]
  • Tiger's blood
  • Tutti frutti
  • Vanilla malt [1]
  • Watermelon
  • Wedding cake


  • Cheesecake Stuffed Snowball[5]: created by Sno-La Snowballs, the snowball is stuffed with cheesecake in the center, surrounded by the snowball flavor of choice.
  • Stuffed sno-ball: a sno-ball stuffed with vanilla or chocolate softserve ice cream[6]
  • Cream-flavored sno-ball: a sno-ball made with flavored syrup mixed with evaporated milk[6]
  • Sugar-free sno-ball: a sno-ball made with sugar-free syrup
  • Toppings: soft-serve ice cream, condensed milk, marshmallow fluff, Oreos[1][6]

Famous New Orleans sno-ball stands[edit]

Stand Location Description
Sno-La Snowballs Uptown, Metairie, and Kenner

The Original Cheesecake Stuffed SnoBall[edit]

Sno-La Snowballs has quickly become one of the most talked about snoball stands in the Greater New Orleans Area. Sno-La Snowballs is the home of the Original Cheesecake Stuffed Snowball and they are the creators of the “snoball tasting”. The Chantilly Cake and Oreo Cheesecake Snowballs are hard to miss on social media sites. Fans are drawn to our soft ice, excellent customer service and creative flavor combinations. Patrons can choose from a wide variety of flavors and they can even have their snowball made in one of our souvenir glass mason jars. We are open year round and we offer a unique indoor customer experience that also allows us to remain open during inclement weather.[7]

Casey's Snowballs[8] Metairie (W. Esplanade) First opening in the 1960s and still going strong today, Casey's New Orleans Snowballs is one of Metairie's most famous stands and has expanded to now include a second location in Austin, Texas.
Hansen's Sno-Bliz New Orleans (Uptown) Open since 1939, Hansen's is a historic and popular New Orleans sno-ball stand. The shop still uses the same Sno-Bliz ice-shaving machine that Ernest Hansen first invented in 1934.[9][10]
Sal's Sno-balls Metairie (Old Metairie) The owner of Sal's buys his ice from an ice factory in a nearby suburb. The transparency of the ice, which arrives in a 300-pound ice block means it has had air bubbles removed during the freezing process, which ensures finer, fluffier ice. Sal's also offers some of their own flavor concoctions, including Robin (nectar creme with ice cream flavor) and Pink Squirrel (nectar creme with almond flavor).[9][11][10]
Williams Plum Street Snowballs New Orleans (Uptown) A popular stand in Uptown New Orleans, Plum Street's trademark is serving their sno-balls in Chinese takeout containers. Inventive flavors include roasted marshmallow, red velvet cake, lemon meringue cream and bananas Foster cream.[9][10]
Pandora's Snowballs New Orleans (Mid-City) Open since 1970, Pandora's is a popular sno-ball stand in Mid-City. Pandora's list of flavors contains 113 syrups.[9][10]
SnoWizard SnoBall Shoppe[12] New Orleans (Uptown) A SnoBall stand on Magazine Street run by a company that also manufacturers shaved ice machines and makes SnoBall flavors.[10]
Ro-Bear's Snowballs and Soft Serve Harahan Ro-Bear's boasts a long list of flavor concoctions, such as the Blue Hawaii (coconut, bubble gum and cream) and Creole Cream Cheese.[9]
The Original New Orleans Sno-balls & Smoothee Gentilly The shop is open year long and has complimentary snacks such as nachos, hot dogs, and more! They are known for their sno-ball cream flavor.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Morago, Greg (14 July 2011). "A tour of the New Orleans' sno-ball stands nets some wondrous samplings". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 12 November 2013.
  2. ^ Roahen, Sara. "Interview with Ashley and Gerard Hansen" (PDF). Southern Foodways Alliance. Southern Foodways Alliance. Retrieved 7 November 2013.
  3. ^ Brady, Jeff. "Tasty Summertime Tradition in New Orleans". NPR. Retrieved 12 November 2013.
  4. ^ Ramos, Dante (28 June 1997). "That's Snow Business" (PDF). The Times-Picayune. Retrieved 7 November 2013.
  5. ^ "About Us". Snola Snowball Lounge, New Orleans Snowball, Original Cheesecake Stuffed Snowball. Retrieved 2019-03-20.
  6. ^ a b c Casbon, Hartley. "GoNOLA Top Five: Best New Orleans Snowball Flavors". Retrieved 12 November 2013.
  7. ^ "Snola Snowballs | Cheesecake Stuffed Snoball | New Orleans Snowball". Snola Snowball Lounge, New Orleans Snowball, Original Cheesecake Stuffed Snowball. Retrieved 2019-03-20.
  8. ^ Alyson Titkemeyer (April 28, 2015). "Snoball Stand of the Day: Casey's is a classic in Metairie". Tribune Broadcasting.
  9. ^ a b c d e Marszalek, Keith. "In New Orleans, snowballs are a really big deal". Retrieved 12 November 2013.
  10. ^ a b c d e Hancock, Alexander (23 April 2012). "The Seven Best Snowball Stands in New Orleans". Vox Media Inc. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
  11. ^ Roahen, Sara. "Interview with Steven Bel" (PDF). Southern Foodways Alliance. Southern Foodways Alliance. Retrieved 12 November 2013.
  12. ^

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

External video
"How It's Done: Hansen's Atomic Sno-Ball". WWLTV News.