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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, marshmallow

A sno-ball is a Louisiana confection made with finely shaved ice and flavored 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, whereas in a snow cone the flavored syrup sinks to the bottom of the cup, in a sno-ball the ice absorbs the syrup.[citation needed]

Sno-balls are a seasonal treat as they are generally sold only from roughly March to October. They are vended from "sno-ball stands" throughout parts of Louisiana, 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
  • Bahama Mama
  • Blackberry
  • Blue Bubble Gum
  • Blueberry
  • Blue Raspberry
  • Buttered popcorn [1]
  • Cake batter [1]
  • Cherry
  • Chocolate [1]
  • Coconut
  • Coffee
  • Cotton Candy
  • Cream soda
  • Dreamsicle
  • Daiquiri
  • French vanilla
  • Grape
  • Green apple
  • Hawaiian Punch
  • Ice cream
  • Joker
  • Key lime pie [1]
  • King cake[1]
  • Kiwi
  • Lemon [1]
  • Lemon-ice
  • Lemon-lime
  • Lime
  • Margarita
  • Nectar
  • Orange
  • Orchid vanilla
  • Peach
  • Peanut butter [1]
  • Piña colada
  • Pineapple
  • Pink lemonade
  • Raspberry
  • Rocket 88
  • Root beer
  • Silver fox
  • Spearmint
  • Strawberry [1]
  • Tamarind [1]
  • Tangerine
  • 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]


  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.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

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