Damn, it's hot outside. What better way to cool off than a snowball?
To our out-of-town readers, the answer is no. A snowball is NOT the same as a sno-cone or Hawaiian shaved ice. Allow me to explain the difference. New Orleans style snowballs are set apart from all others because the ice is much, much finer. So fine in fact that the best snowball makers must alternate between pouring syrups and packing on more ice, because if they just poured the syrup on the top then the elixirs would not penetrate the ice near the bottom. Try one and you are sure to notice the difference. If you are feeling particularly adventurous, ask for a generous pour of condensed milk on top of your snowball. The extra insulin shot will be worth it.
We all have our favorite snowball stands, but in my opinion none come close to Hansen's Sno-Bliz. Their ice is shaved so fine that you might as well be eating clouds. For the magic behind the sno-bliz, I direct you to Todd Price's May article in the Times Picayune. (It must also be noted that Hansen's makes their own syrups - a feat which not many other snowballers can lay claim to.)
Even though Hansen's stands alone at the top, there are still many other snowball stands vying for second place. In a recent conversation I had with The Coonhunter, he made an astute observation that which snowball stand you prefer directly correlates to where you grew up. His contention is based on the strong ties between the stands and their neighborhoods. So I guess today's poll could be more of a demographic analysis of our readers as opposed to a means to end the snowball debate. Either way, we'd like to hear your opinion. (Write-in votes are welcome in the comments.)
Last but not least, no matter what your vote, let us never forget that when it comes to snowballs:
I'll take a large limeade please.